Junior Lee Beebe

January 28, 2011 by staff 

Junior Lee Beebe, (AP) – Two women were fatally wounded by gunfire, including a mother reported missing two days ago, were found buried in woods in southwestern Michigan, and a man who knew them has been charged in their murders, authorities said Friday.

Investigators discovered the bodies to stay at home mother of Amy Henslee, 30 and 36 years, Tonya Howarth in Bangor Township, about 60 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, after a sniffer dog found traces of blood in the area Thursday afternoon.

“It seems that both died of multiple gunshot wounds,” Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps told reporters at a news conference in Paw Paw, the county seat. Kaps, investigators believe they were killed Monday morning.

Junior Lee Beebe of Bangor was arrested by video to the District Court of Paw Paw Friday morning on two counts of murder and two open counts of possession of a firearm during a crime.

Beebe did not enter a plea, but Judge Robert Hentchel when asked if he was aware of the charges in the death of Henslee, Beebe said, “has or has not No, I did not. ”

The 34-year-old from Bangor, who was visibly distracted and did not attempt to stifle yawns during the brief hearing, told the court that he did not have a job and cares of her father.

Amy Henslee husband, James, saw her alive on Monday morning when he left for work at home in Hartford Township, just south of where women have been temporarily buried. The Sheriff’s Department said he is not a suspect, and at first did not suspect a crime in the disappearance of Henslee.

At one point Monday morning, Amy Henslee left the house, shutting the door behind her and leaving her purse inside. Authorities said Friday they believe that she left voluntarily in Beebe.

Kaps, a spokesman for major crimes in the county work force, said Beebe is a cousin of the bridegroom Henslee, and Howarth was an acquaintance of Henslee, and maybe a friend or girlfriend of the suspect.

Sheriff’s Sgt. David Walker, the investigators found the bodies of Henslee & Howarth, buried on land belonging to Philip Beebe, uncle of the suspect. He said Beebe Junior was in the process of purchasing the property.

On Friday, the judge ordered Beebe, to be held without bond. A pre-examination was scheduled for February 8 and a preliminary hearing will be held Feb. 11.

The court appointed a lawyer, David Hunt, representing Beebe. Hunt said he could not immediately comment on the case. He said he plans to meet soon Beebe, but it probably will not discuss the case in detail until he had reviewed the police reports.

Associated Press writer David Runk in Detroit contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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