Tony Clayton Hodge, who is charged with the shooting death of an unknown male in Laurel County, was indicted on one count of murder and one count of tampering with physical evidence by a Laurel County Grand Jury Friday.

Hodge, who is in the Madison County Detention Center awaiting trial on another murder charge, will be served with an indictment warrant, officials at the circuit court clerk’s office said.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele said the decision to seek the death penalty is made by the commonwealth attorney’s office, members of which may file a motion with the court announcing the intention to seek the death penalty in a case.

“At this time, we have not filed that motion,” Steele said.

Steele did not indicate whether the commonwealth’s attorney will file the motion.

The burned remains were found June 21 by two people who were riding their ATVs in an area of the Lily Pits where a pond had recently been drained.

Inside the barrel, investigators found bone fragments along with several bullets. The body remains unidentified. However, Sheriff Fred Yaden said previously that officials have been able to determine that the bones are male and have been there since December 2003.

Near the site, investigators found the remains of a pickup truck belonging to Hodge, which they said showed signs that someone had attempted to burn it.

Sheriff’s Detective Charlie Loomis said efforts to connect the body to missing persons reported in Laurel County have been unsuccessful. The sheriff’s department has been contacted by other law enforcement agencies in an effort to determine if the body matches any of their missing person cases, but those efforts have also been unsuccessful.

Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Emily Craig has been called to help identify the remains.

Court officials said Hodge is scheduled to appear in Laurel Circuit Court Sept. 24, but the warrant must first be served.

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