GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Calling it a "horrible tragedy," police on Friday arrested a man for the brutal murder of a Gulfport woman. Now, three additional suspects have been arrested and charged in connection with the murder of Tena Marie Broadus.
Police say Tena Marie Broadus was killed, burned, and her remains dumped in the Biloxi River.
"I didn't do anything," said Joshua Anthony Peterman, as he was being transported to the Harrison County Jail Friday afternoon.
The 28-year old Gulfport man is accused of killing Tena Marie Broadus. Friday evening, three other suspects were taken into custody. According to officials, 34-year-old Kari Michelle Parker was arrested and charged with murder, while 30-year-old Aaron Dale Bobinger and 18-year-old Devin Deshaun Gregory, were arrested and charged with accessory after the fact.
Broadus was reported missing by her family on September 25.
"I want to express my sympathy to Tena's family, as I know this has and will continue to be a very difficult and heart wrenching situation," said Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania.
The chief said the investigation started when human remains were discovered in the Biloxi River on October 7.
"Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove announced that Tena Broadus was positively identified, resulting in the pursuit of charges against Peterman," said Papania. "We know them to be associates for some time. They knew each other."
Investigators believe on September 18, Peterman and Parker killed Broadus at Peterman's home in the 15300 block of O'Neal Road, then took her body to a wooded area near the east end of O'Neal.
In a statement released to WLOX News, police noted, "After the murder, Peterman, Bobinger and Gregory transported Broadus' remains to a location near the east end of O'Neal Road. Broadus' remains were then burned and later discarded into the Biloxi River."
The chief said Friday's arrests were the result of a complex investigation that involved six agencies, along with DNA testing. He couldn't release any more details about the death of the petite 29-year old woman, due to the ongoing investigation.
"There's a family here who is suffering tragically from this, and it's beyond the story. It's about a person and a horrible tragedy," said Papania.
Peterman is in the Harrison County Jail, being held on a $1 million bond. When Peterman was arrested, police say he was already in jail on a parole violation through the State Department of Corrections.
Parker was given a $250,000 bond, while Gregory and Bobinger were both given $10,000 bond. All three suspects were transported to the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility to be held in lieu of the bonds.