LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – A Valley man is facing murder charges after the body of a man reported missing back in December was recovered Sunday from inside Beulah well. The victim had been shot and stabbed according to investigators.

“On the evening of Sunday, December 29, Lee County Sheriff’s Investigators served a search warrant at a residence located at 9686 Lee Road 279 Valley in connection with the disappearance of James Edmund Clarke,72, of Valley, Alabama,” said Sheriff Jay Jones.

James Clarke

Investigators say a post mortem examination conducted Monday morning revealed stabbing and gunshot wounds to the body and the manner of death as a homicide.

Investigators say an acquaintance of Mr. Clarke, identified as 58-year-old Hubert Timothy Sprayberry of Valley, Alabama has been charged with murder.

Hubert Sprayberry is charged with Murder

“Mr. Clarke was reported missing to the sheriff’s office on December 19, 2019. He had not been seen for approximately three weeks prior to the report being received,” said Jones.

The body recovery process was lengthy. It took several agencies about two and a half hours to recover the body from the well. Opelika Fire and rescue, Beulah Fire and Rescue, Lee County EMA and the Tallapoosa County Rescue Squad assisted in the recovery of the victim.

The incident remains under investigation by the Lee County Coroner’s Office and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

If anyone has any information concerning the case, please call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 334-749-5651, Lee County Crime Stoppers at 888-522-7847.