Thomas’ headless body was found in October in Walker County, just inches from the Dade County line, Walker Sheriff Steve Wilson said. Thomas’ hands had also been severed, but have not been recovered.
Wilson said the head was discovered with three holes in the skull, but would not speculate about what caused the holes.
“I don’t know that a medical examiner has examined the head yet,” Wilson said on Wednesday. “The head, according to (Walker County coroner) DeWayne Wilson, will have to be sent to the Georgia (Bureau of Investigation) Crime Lab for identification so we can match it up with the body.”
The search for Thomas’ remains began when Walker teen Adam Chrismer’s head and hands were found in Boone Lake near Johnson City, Tenn. The rest of Chrismer’s remains and the body of his wife, Samantha Leming, were found in a Johnson City mini-warehouse.
Howard Willis, 51, formerly of Chickamauga, has already been indicted for the murders of the two teens and is in New York awaiting trial related to federal drug charges.
Wilda Willis, Howard Willis' ex-wife and Thomas' niece, said she was relieved at the discovery. She said Willis provided her with directions to locate the head.
(Authorities) are pretty positive it's his," she said. "We have been looking since Jan. 1."
Howard Willis has told his ex-wife information that has helped the investigation and still claims he did not harm Thomas, she said