Arrest brings some relief to Piedmont family

ANNISTON, Ala. (WIAT)- Darlene Cook will never forget October 2009. That’s when she was forced on a dark and painful rollercoaster that she’ll never be able to get off. Her daughter, Carla Cook Fuqua, was reported missing late that month. Her remains were discovered in a rural area of Calhoun County in December of 2012. “Oh, it’s been awful,” said Cook. ”You never know when you’re going to feel the urge to fall apart.”

While nothing will ever replace Carla, her family received a small sense of relief Friday when the Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson announced they had charged a suspect in Fuqua’s death. Jimmy Steed, 52, is facing murder charges. He was already in jail for fourteen drug counts. “I’m happy that they got him, but I feel like there’s more,” said Cook. ”If they had them all, maybe I would feel better.”

According to Sheriff Amerson, Steed is also a suspect in three other missing persons cases in the Piedmont area. Those cases include Steed’s wife, Karen, who was reported missing in 1997. The two others, James Patrick Burrows and Jeffrey Scott McFry, were friends of Jimmy Steed, according to Sheriff Amerson.

Law enforcement says Fuqua’s case is a prime example of the public helping them do their job and solve a crime. “These cases get solved over time when people finally come forward,” said District Attorney Brian McVeigh. ”Either from an act of conscience, or finally no longer being afraid of somebody that’s been an intimidating factor in their life.”

If you know anything about any of the missing persons cases listed above, please call Crime Stoppers at 256-238-1414.

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