MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man is behind bars in Coffee County accused of killing a woman at his home, dismembering her body and eating part of her corpse.
Gregory Hale was arrested Sunday after the woman’s remains were found scattered about his property on Pete Sain Road off McMinnville Highway in Manchester, about 70 miles southeast of Nashville.
According to an arrest warrant, Hale, 37, admitted to murdering the victim, Lisa Hyder, before beheading her and cutting off her hands and feet.
Police said Hale also admitted to cannibalism.
Body parts were found in two plastic buckets at the home. Hyder’s torso was discovered buried in a burn pile.
The murder is believed to have occurred on or around Friday, June 6. Authorities discovered the crime scene after learning Hale was trying to get help disposing her body from a neighbor.
It’s believed Hale and Hyder met for the first time on Friday.
Hyder, 36, wasn’t from Coffee County but was staying in the area.
Her family last heard from her around 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. She needed a ride from a liquor store in Coffee County and called her ex-husband, Charles.
“She called me at 2:30 p.m. Friday [and] told me to come and get her. I told her I was in Huntsville, [Ala.]. I told her when I got home I would come and get her, and when I got home, I got home about 4:30 p.m., her phone was dead,” Charles Hyder told WAAY-TV in Huntsville. “It wasn’t working.”
Hyder suspects by that time, Lisa was already dead.
“I still blame myself because I didn’t go get her, but I was down in Huntsville unloading my truck,” he said. “I wished I could have been there a little bit faster, usually I rescue her every time something goes wrong.”
The couple was married for six years before divorcing last year.
Charles said Lisa was an alcoholic and had ovarian cancer that she chose not to get treated for. Still, despite all that, Hyder said he loved her.
“No matter what she’d done, I loved her. I wouldn’t want [anyone] to go through that,” he said.
Hyder’s family says they’ll seek the death penalty for Hale.
“My daughter was mangled, butchered and chopped up like a liver. There’s nothing left,” her father, Billy Poore told WAAY-TV. “I’m lost. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. I’m a nervous wreck.”
Lisa Hyder leaves behind six children.
The investigation into the murder is ongoing. A motive hasn’t been released.
There are a number disturbing posts on Hale’s Facebook page, including many photos of macabre artwork and of him posing with large knives in homemade masks.
A status update from April 10 even wonders if a vegetarian would taste like soy meat to a cannibal, and in February, he posted a video of serial killer Richard Ramirez with the caption “wish I could have met U [sic].”
Hale is charged with first degree murder and abuse of a corpse. He is being held in the Coffee County jail on $1.5 million bond.
Hale is scheduled to appear in court June 16.