Officials: North Carolina man missing since Christmas Eve found dismembered, sealed in concrete

LEE COUNTY, N.C. — Officials in North Carolina said a man who had been missing since Christmas Eve was reportedly found dismembered and sealed in concrete about a month later.

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In a news release, Lee County Sheriff’s Office said that on Jan. 25, deputies executed a search warrant at a house at 1675 Farrell Road in Sanford, North Carolina, and a connecting piece of land at 1741 and 1745 Farrell Road. The search went into Jan. 26 when investigators found a 55-gallon barrel in a wooded area. The barrel reportedly contained concrete and what was suspected to be human remains.

Authorities said that the medical examiner’s office removed the concrete and found a dismembered body inside the barrel.

The body was identified as Michael Bradley Cox, 40, according to The Macon Telegraph. He was reported missing on Jan. 5 but no one had seen him or heard from him since before Christmas.

Jackie Lamar Bright, 42, has reportedly been charged with murder. According to The Macon Telegraph, Bright lived at the house where the search warrant was conducted.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office said that Bright has an extensive criminal history. He was released from prison in May 2022 and was currently on parole for unrelated charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and controlled substance violations on Jan. 6. He bonded out of jail and was arrested five days later for a parole violation and more controlled substance violations.

“I would like to thank Lee County Emergency Services, Moore County Emergency Services, Deep River Fire Department, Cypress Point Search and Rescue Dive Team, the North Carolina SBI, NC Trooper Association K9 unit, NC K9 ERT, Sanford Public Works, Moore County Public Works, and the dedication of the men and women of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work. I would also like to extend my condolences and prayers to the family of Michael Bradley Cox,” said Lee County Sheriff Brian Estes in the news release.

Investigators have not yet released a motive or a connection between the two men, according to the newspaper.

The investigation is ongoing. Lee County Sheriff’s Office said that additional charges are expected. No further information has been released.