Neighbor of 8th victim connected to Sumner Co. slayings says he lived reclusive life

Local News
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WESTMORELAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – A body was found without a head in a remote section of Westmoreland and authorities say the 63-year-old is the 8th victim of mass murder suspect Michael Cummins. 

According to deputies, James Dunn Jr. lived in the woods across from 1260 Ransom Mandrell Road. 

Residents told News 2 Dunn lived down a very remote driveway that descends into the woods and towards a creek. 

On Apr. 17, Dunn’s body was found decapitated in the same woods. 

The Sumner County sheriff says Dunn lived in a simple cabin, living a reclusive lifestyle. 

News 2 documented several abandoned cars, chickens, and a rooster roaming free. It looked like someone had been living in the encampment, but there were no signs of the burned cabin investigators found Apr. 17.  

According to the affidavit, investigators found the decapitated body of James Dunn Jr. 75 yards from his home and his head was 25 yards from his body.  

Investigators say he was bludgeoned to death.  

Brandon Miller lives nearby and remembers the law enforcement presence around the driveway because it was his wife’s birthday. 

“It’s something that shocks this little community. Everyone knows everyone around here and everyone would do anything for anybody around here, and for something like this to happen, it’s a devastating hit to this little community, this little town.” 

The husband and father of three says James Dunn was very reclusive, but the few times they interacted, he was pleasant. 

“It was very brief. We’d go four wheeling. He would keep to himself and I know he has lived here a long time and the people up the street allowed him to live on the property and he’d always wave at us when we went by four wheeling or he’d wave when he was at the road and we’d come by,” said Miller.  

Miller also knows Michael Cummins and many of the other victims. He says Cummins was always getting into trouble. 

“You wouldn’t think that one person could wreak so much havoc on one small town, a little area like this.”  

Miller says the revelation of eight murders in this peaceful community has everyone on edge, especially his wife, who now wants to move. 

“I’m at work, and she is at home, and she doesn’t feel safe unless I’m there, and I have to check my house to make her feel comfortable before she walks in because of all this. Because of this.” 

Residents like Miller want people to know that this is still a very good community and now the healing can begin to take place. 

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