Dismembered Remains of N.C. Man Who Vanished Over a Month Ago Found in Barrel of Concrete

Michael B. Cox, 40, hadn’t been seen or heard from since Dec. 24, 2022

Michael Bradley Cox
Michael B. Cox. Photo: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

A North Carolina man who vanished more than a month ago was found dismembered, with his body parts placed inside of a concrete-filled barrel, authorities said.

The gruesome discovery was made on Jan. 26, the second day deputies had been searching the area around a Sanford home, according to a press release from the Lee County Sheriff's Office. They'd executed a search warrant at the residence on Jan. 25.

Authorities later found a "55-gallon barrel in a heavily wooded area that contained concrete and suspected human remains," the release states.

After being sent to the North Carolina State Medical Examiner's Office, the remains were confirmed to be those of Michael Bradley Cox, who was reported missing on Jan. 5, according to authorities.

The 40-year-old man hadn't been seen or heard from since Dec. 24, 2022, the sheriff's office said in a previous press release.

Soon after, investigators charged Jackie Lamar Bright, the resident living at the home where they'd been searching, with murder, the release says.

Jackie Lamar Bright
Jackie L. Bright. Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities said Bright has a "very extensive criminal history" and was released from prison in May 2022.

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According to the sheriff's office, he was also arrested twice in January on unrelated charges.

"He was currently on parole when the Lee County Sheriff's Office placed Bright into custody for unrelated charges of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle and Controlled Substance violations on Jan. 6, 2023," the sheriff's office said in the release.

"Bright bonded out of jail and was arrested again on Jan. 2023 by the Lee County Sheriff's Office for the parole violation and additional Controlled Substance violations."

A motive for the alleged killing was not immediately known.

Bright remains in custody of the North Carolina Department of Corrections.

It is not immediately clear if he has entered a plea to any of the charges he faces or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.

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