Human remains found in burned camper in Marion County - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Human remains found in burned camper in Marion County

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MARION COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- People who live on Poe Rd. in Marion County are close friends and relatives. However, behind the cars and the homes on Poe Rd., lived Michael Campbell, a true woodsman.

"He just loved to be by himself, away from everybody else," says friend and neighbor, Jeff Pruitt. "I've known Mike my whole life, 38 years."

Pruitt says Campbell lived about a quarter of a mile deep into the woods behind his house. He walked to and from his camper on a dirt trail made from years of traveling back and forth.

"He's been back there on and off probably 20 years I guess," Pruitt says.
 
However, it all ended sometime late Saturday night when nearly every piece of Campbell's 8' by 16' camper burned. "We didn't see no fire, we didn't smell smoke," Pruitt explains.

"There was no electricity in the camper, so we feel that possibly a heater or smoking contributed to the fire," says Marion County Detective Gene Hargis.
 
Investigators found human remains in the spot where the bed would have been. DNA will tell for sure, but officers say all the clues point to Campbell.

"There is a metal plate which he had in his arm that was recovered and is consistent," Hargis says.
 
However, his friends say they already know. "You expect to see him coming around the house or see him walking back through the woods. It'll just take a while to get used to not seeing him," says Pruitt.

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