Sheriff's office close to charging suspect in Maxwell murder

Sheriff's office close to charging suspect in Megan Maxwell murder

Jeffrey Lee Stock (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office) Jeffrey Lee Stock (source: Cocke County Sheriff's Office)

6 News Reporter

NEWPORT (WATE) - The Cocke County sheriff says his office is very close to making the next move in the Megan Maxwell murder case.

From the beginning, investigators have pointed to Jeffrey Lee Stock as the suspect who killed Maxwell, 19, of Newport, in April 2009.

Maxwell was missing for more than a year. Only her burned car was found on the side of a road near the French Broad River.

Extensive searches were done all over the area and her family made pleas to the public.

Maxwell's body was found in the woods of rural Cocke County in November 2010, but no one has been arrested or charged with killing her.

Stock was previously convicted of abducting and sexually assaulting two teenage girls in Indiana.

"Jeffrey Stock is obviously a predator," said Sheriff Armando Fontes. "He moved into this area because of the media publicity he was getting where he was before for those crimes he committed."

Authorities say Maxwell was last seen at her father's house. They say Stock, who was acquainted with Maxwell's father, was also believed to be at the house around that time.

"We can very much place him with the victim prior to her death," the sheriff said.

Stock is being held at a federal correctional facility in Tucson, Arizona on other charges.

Detectives from Cocke County have been there to interview him. "We are very optimistic about charging someone very soon," Sheriff Fontes said.

As soon as Maxwell's body was found, her family switched their focus to seeking justice for her murder.

Although the Maxwells could not do an interview Tuesday, they have spoken out before about Stock being in custody.

"That's where he needs to stay," said Lisa Maxwell, Megan's mother. "He does not need to get out. He does not need to ever walk the streets again."

The sheriff feels they have enough evidence for a strong case against Stock. "I do think we'll be able to bring more closure to the family," he said.

Sheriff Fontes also says Stock will remain at that federal facility in Arizona until they have enough evidence lined up in this case.

The sheriff could not give an exact timeline for when Stock could be charged. He will only say that it will happen very soon.

How long it takes for charges to be filed will also depend on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the district attorney.

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