MATTHEWS, Ind. (WISH) — A Hartford City man told police he waited in the back seat of his victim’s truck before fatally beating him, driving to another county and setting the pickup on fire, the Grant County coroner said Monday.
Donald Lamley, 47, of Hartford City, was charged Monday with murder, arson and abuse of a corpse, court records show.
Authorities were called to a truck on fire in a field near County Road 1125 South on South Wheeling Pike, near the community of Matthews, around 9:50 a.m. Friday, where they found a body “burnt beyond recognition.”
Coroner Stephen Dorsey on Monday identified the man who died as 26-year-old Jeremy Overla, also of Hartford City. His cause of death was determined to be blunt force injuries to the head.
Overla had been reported missing, according to Grant County authorities.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday said that Lamley was brought in for questioning as a person of interest and implicated himself in Overla’s death. He also said the homicide happened in Blackford County, according to the sheriff’s office.
Lamley told police he waited in the back seat of Overla’s truck, then struck him multiple times with a hammer and his fists. Then he drove the pickup west into Grant County, where he set it on fire “to dispose of the body and evidence,” Dorsey said.
Lamley’s first court appearance is set for Friday, court records show. On Monday night, he was not listed in the Blackford or Grant county online jail records.