South Carolina authorities have placed a man under arrest after two bodies were found stuffed inside barrels which were dumped in a lake, according to ABC News.
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office has charged 35-year-old John Michael Young with two counts of murder after authorities made the gruesome discovery. Investigators who searched the suspect’s residence reportedly discovered knives, machetes, and chainsaws inside the home.
According to The Huffington Post, Young murdered 52-year-old Tony McGinnis and 37-year-old Andrea Mitchell in September and October, respectively. Authorities believe that Young may have known the victims beforehand. However, motives for the murders have yet to be unearthed.
“We believe he targeted these victims for a reason,” explained an Anderson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. “I don’t necessarily believe he’s out there targeting people for a random reason.”
WYFF reports that Andrea Mitchell’s body was found inside a barrel dumped in Lake Hartwell on Wednesday. The coroner reported that her corpse had been in the container for around 35 days before being discovered by authorities.
“The investigators are going to be trying to check out her background, try to figure out where she came from and how she got in this situation,” the sheriff’s office spokesperson said.
Tony McGinnis’ body was discovered inside a similar barrel on Friday afternoon. Police said that McGinnis’ corpse had been dismembered before being placed in the container. Mitchell’s, on the other hand, was discovered intact. However, both individuals died as a result severe head trauma.
Investigators learned that McGinnis and Michell knew one another, and were considered to be part of Young’s circle of friends. Authorities believe the suspect specifically targeted his victims. However, his reasoning for the murders remain unclear.
A magistrate court judge formally charged John Michael Young with two counts of murder and the unauthorized removal of a dead body on Sunday. The suspect is also facing charges related to drugs and firearm possession.