PURCELL, Okla. – A slain 10-year-old girl's body was found with deep saw marks on her neck, said authorities who alleged Saturday that her killer had planned to dismember her and eat the flesh.
The family of Jamie Rose Bolin was in shock, not only with the news of her slaying but with the fact that the suspect is her downstairs neighbor.
Kevin Ray Underwood, 26, was arrested Friday after investigators found Jamie's body in the closet of a bedroom in his apartment, authorities said. The girl's unclothed body was inside a large plastic tub, along with a towel used to soak up blood, officials said.
Purcell police Chief David Tompkins said investigators think the killer hit her several times with a wooden cutting board, then placed his hand and duct tape over her mouth to suffocate her. She was sexually assaulted after she died, officials said.
Tompkins and McClain County District Attorney Tim Kuykendall released the gruesome details about the final moments of Jamie's life and what they alleged were Underwood's plans for her body, but they would not say whether Underwood had confessed to the slaying.
Kuykendall said that Underwood said he began fantasizing about eating someone a year ago. The prosecutor added that authorities believe "that while she was ultimately chosen to be the victim of this horrific crime, that other people had been targeted and considered," including a a woman and a 5-year-old boy.
A preliminary autopsy report said the girl died from blunt force trauma to the head and asphyxiation.
"Regarding a potential motive, this appears to have been part of a plan to kidnap a person, rape them, torture them, kill them, cut off their head, drain the body of blood, rape the corpse, eat the corpse, then dispose of the organs and bones," the police chief said.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents seized a decorative dagger, a hack saw, duct tape, meat tenderizer, barbecue skewers, a duffel bag, the cutting board, a computer, and a videotape about a serial killer, Tompkins said.
Police think Jamie died Wednesday, the day she was last seen at the library in Purcell, about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City. She was reported missing that night.
"Jamie was in the apartment below us the whole time," said Rose Fox, Jamie's grandmother. "The only reason that he couldn't move the body and hide it was because somebody was out there the whole time, either on the balcony smoking or standing in front of the apartment.
Authorities said they became suspicious of Underwood when he pulled up to a check point set up near the apartment complex two days after the girl was reported missing.
"He was an occupant of a vehicle. He just wasn't acting right," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Kera Philippi. "From there, they talked to him and the FBI took him into questioning."
Underwood was being held Saturday in the McClain County Jail on a complaint of first-degree murder, a jail official said.
The district attorney called Jamie's killing one of the most "heinous and atrocious" crimes he'd seen in his career as a prosecutor. He said he planned to file first-degree murder charges against Underwood on Monday and would seek the death penalty.
"This does not appear to be a spur-of-the-moment crime of opportunity but a well-thought-out, premeditated act with months of planning and preparation," Kuykendall said.
Tompkins said Underwood had no apparent criminal record. He also said it wasn't known whether Underwood had a history of mental illness, but he expects mental competency to be an issue at trial.
It was not immediately known whether Underwood had a lawyer.
The manager of the apartment complex, Tim Bayer, told The Oklahoman that Underwood liked to stand outside his apartment and watch children play. He said Underwood didn't have a car of his own and that he kept his apartment clean.
Jamie lived upstairs in an apartment with her father, Curtis Bolin, an auto mechanic, her grandmother said. Jamie's mother, Jenny, is a truck driver in Oklahoma City. The couple separated several years ago, Fox said.
Fox said the family is distraught, especially the child's father, who remained under sedation.
"His whole life revolved around Jamie," Fox said. "He didn't go out and party. He didn't drink or smoke. This has probably destroyed him."