Coroner: Victim was shot multiple times before he was tied to a truck and dragged

jwarren@herald-leader.comMay 5, 2014 

Vernon Saunders, 56, of Woodford was charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of corpse in the death of his brother, Timothy. Timothy Saunders was found dead on a Woodford road Sunday, May 4, after he was dragged behind a pickup truck.

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Timothy Saunders had died of gunshot wounds before his body was dragged by a pickup truck more than a mile on a rural Woodford County road, the coroner said.

Woodford County Coroner Ronald Owens said an autopsy Monday showed that Saunders had been shot multiple times before he was tied to the truck.

"The victim had massive trauma to his body," Owens said.

Owens said he thinks Saunders' assailant might have been trying to take him somewhere else when he was dragged.

"I don't know, but I'm kind of thinking that he tried to get him up in the back of the truck and couldn't do it, so he just tied him to the bumper," the coroner said. "I don't know where he was taking him."

A passerby found Saunders' body about 6:45 a.m. Sunday, along Troy Pike near the Mundy's Landing community. Versailles police have charged Saunders' brother, Vernon Saunders, 56, of Woodford County, with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Police Lt. Daniel Clark said officers think Timothy Saunders, 51, was dragged behind a truck for about 11/2 miles from Vernon Saunders' home at 11530 Troy Pike.

Owens said he thinks Timothy Saunders died sometime between 4 and 6 a.m. Sunday.

Clark declined to discuss what led to Timothy Saunders' death.

Timothy Saunders, who was from Florida, frequently visited his brother, the county coroner's office said.

Herald-Leader staff writer Karla Ward contributed to this report. Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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