Police Say Cottondale Murder Victim Was Beaten, Stabbed & Hidden for Several Days Before Discovery
Additional details surrounding the Cottondale murder between two roommates were released Monday morning during a press conference with the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.
As previously reported, officers with the unit and deputies from the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office responded to a home off of Fork Lane in Cottondale Saturday after receiving a tip that a man living there may have murdered his roommate.
During the course of the investigation, police discovered the body of 61-year-old Barry Sartain in an outbuilding. Sartain's roommate, 24-year-old Daniel Scott Raines allegedly admitted to the killing and was arrested Saturday.
Captain Jack Kennedy, commander of the VCU, said during the press conference the suspect and victim got into a physical altercation that ended in homicide.
The incident is still under investigation, but Kennedy said it has been determined Sartain was beaten and stabbed during the altercation. Kennedy said an autopsy is currently in progress so it is unknown how many times the victim was stabbed but there was evidence that determined he was stabbed multiple times.
"Based on the facts that we have before us, this is not a simple case of a lucky punch," Kennedy stated. "It's nothing along those lines. This is clearly, what we believe, to be a prosecutable murder, otherwise we would not have charged [Raines] immediately. The facts of this case are this was not a normal fight. It may have begun that way but it definitely did not end that way. Based of the statements from the suspect, we believe he intended to kill this victim."
Kennedy said the suspect even assisted officers with searching for the victim before a body was later uncovered. Kennedy noted the victim had been dead for a couple of days before being located.
Kennedy said the VCU worked throughout the weekend to follow up on additional evidence that was discovered during the investigation.
"We responded Saturday afternoon and worked through most of the night and most of the next day as well, going to different locations, processing evidence, processing scenes and following up on this case," Kennedy stated.
Kennedy said there were other occupants staying at the home but were not involved in the case and were not present at the time of the killing. It is also believed that drugs and alcohol were factors that led to the killing.
By the Tuscaloosa Thread's count, this incident marks the 18th homicide that has occurred in Tuscaloosa County that has been investigated by the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.
Kennedy commended the witnesses who gave the unit tips on the case and believed the murder would not have been discovered without them.
"We would like to express gratuities to everybody who called the Sheriff's Office when they thought they had information about a murder," Kennedy said. "That's how this case occurred."