PAW PAW, Mich. -- The bodies of two women who were apparently shot to death, including a stay-at-home mother of two missing since earlier this week, have been found buried in southwest Michigan, authorities announced Friday.
The bodies of Amy Henslee, 30, and Tonya Howarth, 36, have been found in Bangor Township, about 60 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, and a suspect is in custody, officials said. The wooded area is north of Henslee's Hartford Township home, where she was last seen Monday.
AP - This undated photo released on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, by the family through the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office via the Kalamazoo Gazette, shows Amy Henslee of Hartford Township, Mich. Henslee, a stay-at-home mother of two children, was last seen at home Monday morning when her husband, James, left for work. The Van Buren County sheriff's department said he is not a suspect, and they don't suspect foul play so far in her disappearance. (AP Photo/Family Photo via Van Buren County Sheriff's Office via Kalamazoo Gazette) NO SALES
"It appears that they both died of multiple gunshot wounds," Van Buren County Prosecutor Juris Kaps told reporters at a news conference.
Kaps said police have arrested 34-year-old Junior Lee Beebe on two counts of open murder and two counts of possession of a firearm during a felony. Beebe was expected to be arraigned in court later Friday.
The District Court in Paw Paw said it didn't know whether Beebe has a lawyer. The Sheriff's department did not immediately return a call.
Beebe is a cousin of Henslee's husband, said Kaps, a spokesman for the county's Major Crimes Task Force. Howarth was an acquaintance of Henslee, and possibly a friend or girlfriend of the suspect, Kaps said.
Investigators believe the women were killed Monday morning, Kaps said.
Philip Beebe, an uncle of the suspect, told WZZM-TV that investigators had searched land owned by Junior Lee Beebe, then took him in for questioning.
"They took him in a car and said they were going someplace warm where they could talk," Philip Bebee told the station.
Henslee was last seen at home Monday morning when her husband, James, left for work.
The Van Buren County sheriff's department has said he is not a suspect. Amy Henslee's had left her purse inside the house and locked the door behind her.
Authorities said Friday they think Henslee left voluntarily with Beebe.
A day earlier, police had said they didn't suspect foul play in Henslee's disappearance. That assessment changed as the investigation developed.
On Friday morning, Sheriff Dale Gribler expressed condolences to the women's families. He said he delayed the release of information on the case while investigators combed the area where the bodies were discovered.
"We had a lot of work to do with the crime lab at the particular crime scene," Gribler said.
What took the police three days to check out Beebe's trailer? A violent criminal is the last person to be at Amy's home before she goes missing and they don't go to his place? Or did the husband not tell them for three days?