KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A man is accused of killing his parents, cutting up their remains and dissolving the body parts in a homemade acid-based solution last week after the family spent Thanksgiving together.
Joel Michael Guy Jr., 28, is being charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the slayings occurred. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office stated Wednesday that Guy had driven up to Knoxville from his apartment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to spend the holiday with his parents and three sisters.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Guy's sisters told investigators that everything seemed fine between Guy and their parents during Thanksgiving dinner. His sisters returned to their own homes after the celebration, and said they were surprised their brother planned to stay the entire weekend.
Maj. Michael MacLean, of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, said that investigators believe it was sometime between Friday night, when Joel Guy Sr., 61, and Lisa Guy, 55, were last seen alive, and mid-day Saturday that they were slain. They suffered “vicious” stab wounds before being dismembered, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The Advocate in Baton Rouge reported that Guy spent at least one night in the home after allegedly dismembering his parents. He left Tennessee on Sunday for Baton Rouge, where he was arrested outside his apartment building Tuesday afternoon by agents from the FBI and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
The motive for the crime remains unclear, though the Advocate reported that the Guys had been paying many of their unemployed son's bills and had planned on talking to him over the holiday about cutting off some of their financial support. The Times News of Kingsport, Tennessee, reported that Joel Guy Jr. told investigators that he and his parents had discussed money on Thanksgiving.
Guy Jr., who graduated high school from the residential Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in 2008, spent time in and out of college before reportedly withdrawing from his classes at Louisiana State University last year, the Advocate said.
The crime scene at his parents' Tennessee home, which MacLean described as "gruesome," was discovered Monday after Lisa Guy failed to return to work after the holiday weekend, the News Sentinel reported.
An officer doing a welfare check initially found nothing amiss from outside the house, the paper said, but Lisa Guy’s coworkers were unconvinced that nothing was wrong. When police made a second pass at the home, an officer looking through a window spotted evidence of the violence that had taken place inside.
The couple's son is accused of stabbing them to death and possibly torturing them before killing them, the News Sentinel reported. Their remains were found in multiple rooms of the home, which they had recently sold as part of their plan for retirement.
According to the Times News of Kingsport, Tennessee, the couple had bought the Hawkins County home of Joel Guy Sr.'s late mother and were two weeks away from moving in. Rene Charles, Guy Sr.'s sister, said that her brother, an engineer, had also recently been laid off.
It was not immediately clear if the change in his job status prompted the couple to talk to their son over the holiday about supporting himself.
“We were going to have Christmases together again,” Charles said. “We were just fixing to have all of us back together again.”
Charles expressed shock at the details of the deaths and what her nephew is accused of doing to his parents’ bodies.
"It's one thing to stab someone, but to do everything that he did, to dismember his parents' bodies?" Charles said.
MacLean said the solution used on the Guys' bodies appeared to be composed of household chemicals and could be made using information available online. The Advocate reported that the chemicals included bleach, hydrogen peroxide, drain cleaner and sewer line cleaner.
The Sheriff’s Office said that the toxic fluid required biohazard equipment and hazardous materials experts to remove from the house.
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