(Florence, Ky.) - One of the men accused in a gruesome Boone County murder is a 2011 South Dearborn High School graduate.
Jefferey Allen, 21, Anthony Baumgartner, 23, and Stephen Harkness, 22, were each arrested Tuesday on charges of kidnapping, torture, murder, and abuse of a corpse. Sheriff’s Office investigators say the three men are all Boone County residents.
Allen had attended South Dearborn High School in Aurora. He was living in Verona at the time of the murder.
Allen and Harkness are former Marines. Allen was dishonorably discharged from service.
The victim was a suspected local heroin dealer. Boone County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tom Scheben said the trio targeted him in an effort to “rid the community of evil.”
Allen and his accomplices lured the victim to a staged drug buy on January 9th in Walton with the intent of kidnapping and beating him, investigators said. The beating turned to a murder and the victim was dismembered, the suspects allegedly admitted during questioning.
Some of the victim’s wrapped remains, including his torso and legs, were found in a field near the home where Allen lived with his mother in Verona. Other body parts were disposed of in a dumpster behind the Super 8 motel on Dream Street in Florence. Police spent all day Tuesday searching a landfill in Butler, Kentucky for those remains with no success.
While there is a good idea who the victim was, the state of the remains has made it difficult for detectives to positively identify him.
The three suspects are scheduled to appear in Boone County court Thursday.