Bodies Of Hattiesburg Couple Were Dismembered, Authorities Say

The bodies of a Hattiesburg couple discovered last week in an abandoned Kansas farm house were dismembered, authorities say.

Vernon Hulett, 34, and his 37-year-old girlfriend, Linda Heintzelman, were killed in Hattiesburg last month, and their bodies were taken to the farm house near Waldo, Kan.

Roger Gillett, 29, and Lisa Jo Chamberlin, 31, both of Russell County, Kan., have been charged with murder in warrants issued in Mississippi. They are in a Kansas jail on drug charges.

The bodies of Hulett and Heintzelman were discovered during a search of the vacant farm, owned by Gillett's father.

Authorities initially refused to release any details on the condition of the bodies, but Hattiesburg Police Chief David Wynn now says the murders were gruesome. The bodies were found dismembered and stuffed in a freezer, he said.

Gillett and Chamberlin, are being held on $500,000 bond each on five felony drug charges. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday for Gillett and Thursday for Chamberlin on the drug charges.

Authorities have not said what led to the killings.

Gillett and Hulett are cousins and grew up together, according to Hulett's mother, Caroline Hester of Hattiesburg.

Gillett and Chamberlin had been staying with the Hattiesburg couple at their home for about a month, Hester said.

Hattiesburg police say their preliminary investigation showed the murders occurred at the home and the bodies were taken to Kansas.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)