Decomposed human remains identified and arrest made

Published 12:15 am Saturday, December 19, 2015

The human remains found in the area near the intersection of Bringle Ferry Road and River Road on Saturday have been identified and an arrest has been made.

In a press release from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff office’s investigators and N.C. State Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remains as those of James Michael Beam, who lived at 195 Richfield Rd. in Richfield, N.C.

Beam, 57, had not been seen since around Easter of this year. While the sheriff’s office was investigating the missing person case, the investigators received information that Beam had been murdered and his body was disposed of.

Two hunters found Beam’s remains on the side of a hill on Dec. 12. The body parts were spread out over the grassy area, according to Lt. Chad Moose, from the sheriff’s office. Moose also said the body was decomposed to the skeleton.

After further investigation, sheriff’s office investigators identified Jessie Gary Rhodes, 35, as a suspect in Beam’s murder. Rhodes was arrested on Friday afternoon and charged with Beam’s murder.

Rhodes is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond until his first appearance hearing on Monday.

The investigation is still ongoing.