Two jobseekers who were lured to Ohio by an online ad for a cattle farm caretaker were shot in an apparent robbery plot, the local sheriff said.
One ended up buried in a shallow grave while the other managed to escape and hide in the woods.
The unusual case began to unravel in rural Nobel County on November 6, when a terrified and blood-soaked man from North Carolina knocked on a door and asked for help, Sheriff Stephen Hannum said in a press release.
The middle-aged man told police that he met two people for breakfast in a little town called Marietta to discuss the job.
The asked him to drive out to see the farm and got him to walk in some woods after telling him the road was closed due to a landslide.
As they got deeper into the woods, he heard what sounded like a gun being cocked and turned around to see a gun pointed at his head.
"He deflected the gun and ran. As he was running from the gunman he was shot in the arm. The gunman continued to shoot as the victim ran," Hannum said.
The man hid for seven hours in the woods and walked about two miles (three kilometers) away before feeling safe enough to seek help.
He was shot just 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the sheriff's office.
Five days later, after the story hit the press, a woman from Boston called and said her twin brother was missing.
He had also answered a job ad on Craig's list, and she was "very sure" it was the same one the other man had answered, Hannum said. Her brother had last been seen in West Virginia on October 22.
The sheriff's department searched the woods and found a hand-dug shallow grave, which gave "credibility to the theory that if the gunman had planned to kill and bury victim number one, then is it possible there is a victim number two," Hannum said.
The search intensified and on Tuesday cadaver dogs found the body of a white man buried in a shallow grave close to where where the other victim was shot.
Hannum has not identified the victims, or the two suspects who are currently in custody. But he did say the suspects are not locals.
"This matter is still under investigation and other arrests are possible," he said.
"The gambit of charges connected to this case could range from kidnapping and theft to murder and attempted murder."
Source: AFP American Edition