Meth, fentanyl, abuse of a corpse charges lead to the arrest of 2 in Rusk County

Meth, fentanyl, and abuse of a corpse charges lead to the arrest of 2 in Rusk County
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 8:51 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Methamphetamine, fentanyl, and abuse of a corpse charges lead to the arrest of two people by an East Texas sheriff’s office.

A man’s body was found along a remote section of County Road 169-D in Rusk County a week ago.

It was March 30 that Rusk County Sheriff’s Office investigators responded to a death investigation after a body was found on a remote area of that Rusk county road.

“We got this call and we show up, a deputy arrives. Looks at the scene and realizes it’s almost too clean,” says Rusk County Sheriff John Wayne Valdez.

When the man’s body was found, investigators knew something didn’t fit.

“This is not what it seemed to be. Made to look like a suicide, made to look like natural causes, it just didn’t add up,” the sheriff says.

Valdez says the man, now identified as 38-year-old Corey Murphy of Longview, had died at an alternate location and had been taken to the county road location in attempt to cover up the death.

Information led to a search of suspected drug house in Kilgore, where suspected methamphetamine, fentanyl and other unspecified evidence was seized.

“We found similar narcotics that were found at the scene. and were able to get a probable cause warrant,” said Valdez.

36-year-old William Edward Welch, of Kilgore, and 36-year-old Stephanie Kravis, of Carthage, were arrested and each charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, possession of a controlled substance and abuse of corpse.

“We are also actively looking for a third: Charles Parker from the Longview area,” says the sheriff.

Valdez is sounding the alarm about the continuing fentanyl crisis.

“We do believe fentanyl was a contributing factor to his death. It’s coming. And now I can say unequivocally it’s here,” he says.

An autopsy has been requested on Murphy’s body.

Both Welch and Kravis are being held on collective bonds of $170,000.

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