Gregory Scott Hale (Photo from Coffee Co. Sheriff's Office)
SUMMITVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
New information is emerging after a man was charged with murdering a woman over the weekend in a rural part of Coffee County.
Sheriff Steve Graves said 37-year-old Gregory Scott Hale is charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in connection with the death, which occurred at Hale's residence on Pete Sain Road in the Summitville area.
Officials say the victim has been identified as Lisa Marie Hyder of DeKalb County.
"Lisa was a sweet girl, very pretty girl. I can't believe anyone would want to do that to her," said friend Vicki Keenan.
Graves said deputies learned about the murder on Sunday night and said Hale was allegedly attempting to get help disposing of the body.
Some of the details of the discovery were so gruesome, even the assistant district attorney couldn't talk about them Monday.
"We are very early in the investigation. The officers were out late last night into the early hours of the morning gathering information," said Assistant DA Marla Holloway.
According to an affidavit, Hale admitted to the murder. He told investigators he dismembered Hyder's body and buried her torso in a burn pile at his home. He also admitted to eating part of the victim after murdering her.
"I think they're very sick people that's what I think. I think anybody that would do that to somebody, they're very sick and do need help," Keenan said.
There are some disturbing posts on the suspect's Facebook page. Back in February, he posted a tribute and goodbye to serial killer Richard Ramirez who had recently died.
In April, he jokingly asked his followers a question about becoming a cannibal.
And there were also photos of him wearing a mask and holding what appears to be a long blade with a bone as a handle.
Sheriff's officials received a tip that the death happened on or about Friday.
Several neighbors described Hale as a sick man, and one even called him a devil worshiper, something authorities are also hearing.
"We will certainly be looking into everything that we're hearing. As you can image the things that you're hearing are the same things that we're hearing," Holloway said.
Channel 4 News has also learned Hale once worked at a meat processing plant in the Hillsboro community in Coffee County. Sources who knew him say Hale would take home bones, blood and eyeballs of animals from the plant.
"That's terrible. It's got to be a very sick mind to do something like that," Keenan said.
Hale is jailed on $1.5 million bond and is due in court on June 23.
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