FAYETTE COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Fayette County Sheriff's Office confirmed the remains discovered at the beginning of this month along Highway 64 belong to Ellis Vogt, who was reported missing in August 2016.
Investigators said Vogt advertised on Craigslist for someone to help care for him, and a woman answered the ad shortly before they both went missing.
District Attorney Mike Dunavant identified Pamela Bingham as the woman who answered the Craigslist ad.
"It's scary is what it is, because I've been out here 30 years and I have never been afraid to be out here," neighbor Shirley Lenti said.
According to the police affidavit, a family friend visited Vogt on July 29, 2016, and the woman known as "Jaynie" was there. The following day, the family friend could not get in touch with Vogt. His son Kenny went to the home and discovered his father was missing, along with "Jaynie" and his father's van.
"We really don't know what to think," acquaintance Aubrey Davidson said. "This is an old country town and nothing like that has ever happened out here."
Bingham was reported missing at the same time as Vogt. She was later found in Guymon, Oklahoma, driving Vogt's van. She was identified in Oklahoma by her Kansas driver's license.
Bingham is now in jail, charged with stealing Vogt's van. She is being held on a $250,000 bond. Bingham has been behind bars in Fayette County for six months.
"Everybody is talking about it today. We all knew him," Davidson said.
Dunavant said Bingham is a person of interest in Vogt's death.
Vogt's remains were discovered near Laconia, off Highway 64, on February 2 by a utility worker. His cause of death has not been released, but Dunavant said the circumstances surrounding Vogt's death are considered suspicious.
Residents in the area do not believe Bingham acted alone, however. They don't think one person could have dumped the body on the side of the road alone since Vogt was a larger sized man.
"I just don't think she could have done all that and left him up there by herself," one resident said.
The Fayette County grand jury meets next Monday. It is possible the grand jury will look at the death of Vogt and what, if any, connection Bingham had to his death.