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UPDATE: Suspect in death of Cleveland man extradited

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Thomas Creek Thomas Creek
BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Murder suspect Sean Scott Hale was extradited from Fort Payne, Al to Cleveland, TN Thursday. Hale is now in custody at the Bradley County Justice Center.

A first-degree murder warrant was issued for Hale, who is believed to be responsible for the disappearance and murder of Thomas Creek, Jr.


PREVIOUS STORY: The man wanted for killing Thomas Creek Jr. was found walking along Interstate 59 in Fort Payne, Alabama.

Police said Hale shot and killed 34-year-old Creek, then dumped his body in a ravine in the Cherokee National Forest.

"Hale gave a false identification. When they started looking into it they found that he was wanted out of Tennessee for a homicide and they took him into custody on the side of the interstate,” said Chief Mark Gibson.

Hale's brother, who was walking with him, was up front with police, he was detained, but has not been charged with a crime.
 
Chief Gibson believes the two were driving a stolen car shortly before police caught up to them.

"Sean Hale confessed to shooting Thomas Creek Jr. He also listed a location of the stolen vehicle used in the commission of the crime and we were able to recover that,” said Chief Gibson.

The car was found burned in a remote area of Fort Payne, it’s now a key piece of evidence in the investigation that could shed light on what happened the day of the murder.

"The information that we received is that he was shot in the vehicle on the roadway, traveling in the Cleveland area,” said Chief Gibson.

Creek was last seen leaving Tennova Hospital two weeks ago, police believe Hale was the one who picked him up in the car and that he acted alone.

"Shortly after being picked up from the hospital, the homicide took place and he was then transported to Polk County,” said Chief Gibson. 

Gibson said Hale and Creek knew each other, however, it's not clear what led to Creek's death.          

Preliminary autopsy reports show that creek was shot in the head at least twice before being left in the forest.

Police are working to extradite Hale back to Bradley County.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Cleveland Police Department is investigating a missing persons case as a homicide after finding the victim's body in Polk County.

The mother of Thomas Creek Jr., reported her son missing on March 23rd. During the investigation, officials started to receive information that Creek may have been a victim of a homicide. 

Through interviews with witnesses, officers were able to determine the location of Creek's body on Monday. 

Further investigation revealed the victim had actually been missing since March 14. 

Police issued a warrant for Sean Scott Hale's arrest. He will be charged with first-degree murder.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of Creek's death. 

Stay with Channel 3 as this story develops.  

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