2 charged with abuse of corpse after body found in wooded area near Huntsville apartment Thursday

Stay with WAAY 31 on air and WAAYTV.com online for updates.

Posted: Jun 24, 2021 2:41 PM
Updated: Jun 24, 2021 6:37 PM

The Huntsville Police Department has charged Joseph Stack, 44, and Quartney Smith, 36, with abuse of a corpse following the discovery of Laekyn Steelman's body on Thursday morning.

According to a news release, officers responded to Maysville Road and Clinton Avenue about 8 a.m. and found Steelman deceased in a wooded area. Steelman's mother reported her missing Saturday.

Quartney Smith and Joseph Stack

HPD Major Crimes Unit Investigators believe the suspects, who are married, were acquaintances of Steelman, the release said.

The investigation revealed the three individuals were engaged in illegal drug activity over the weekend when Steelman overdosed, police said.

Stack and Smith both failed to contact authorities or emergency personnel for assistance, police said.

It is believed the incident occurred at a residence on Sutcliff Drive and Steelman’s body was taken to where it was discovered Thursday morning, according to the release.

The official cause of Steelman's death will be determined with toxicology and autopsy results. The investigation is ongoing.

From earlier:

The Huntsville Police Department is conducting a death investigation after the body of a 28-year-old woman was found Thursday morning at an apartment complex in the 100 block of Maysville Road in Huntsville.

Don Webster, Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc spokesman, said crews responded to the scene about 8 a.m.

Madison County Coroner Dr. Tyler Berryhill said an autopsy will be conducted this week.

Stay with WAAY 31 on air and WAAYTV.com online for updates.

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