Missing man’s body found in concrete-filled barrel behind alleged killer’s home

Police searching for a man that had been missing for over a month found his dismembered body buried in a 55-gallon barrel full of concrete yards from the home of a known criminal.

The remains of North Carolina man Michael Bradley Cox were found buried in a wooded area on property belonging to ex-con Jackie Lamar Bright.

Police declined to reveal what had led them to launch the two-day search of the area which led to the gruesome discovery.

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Investigators found the concrete-filled barrel in a “heavily-wooded” piece of land next to Bright’s home in Sanford – a city in Lee County, North Carolina.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office removed the concrete and discovered a dismembered body inside of the barrel,” according to a statement from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The remains were later identified as those of Michael Cox, 40, another Lee County native who was last seen alive on Christmas Eve last year.

Bright had out on parole at the time of Cox’s disappearance, seven months after being released from jail.

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He was arrested on January 6 this year on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and controlled substance but was released on bail.

Five days later he was back behind bars after again being caught with illegal drugs.

“Jackie Lamar Bright has a very extensive criminal history and was released from prison in May of 2022,” Sheriff Brian Estes said.

He is now the prime suspect in Cox’s murder. It’s unclear what motive may have been behind the slaying.

A stolen quad-bike, and 170 grams of marijuana, opioids, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia were also found during the search of Bright’s property.

Bright is in custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections as police continue investigating.


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