The death of a Williamsburg man, whose body was found inside a building near the Tennessee state line late Monday morning, has now been ruled a homicide.
Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley pronounced Billy Ray Lawson, 45, dead at 12:22 p.m. Monday from multiple sharp force injuries. The manner of death is being classified as a homicide, Croley said.
The body will be sent to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort on Tuesday for autopsy.
Croley said that he couldn’t comment on how many sharp force injuries that Lawson suffered.
“It is suspicious,” KSP spokesperson Lloyd Cochran said about the death.
KSP and the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department were notified about the incident about 11:39 a.m. Monday after Lawson’s body was discovered inside a building located at 12076 US25W.
Croley estimated that Lawson had been dead since late Sunday evening.
The red building is located on a hill a few hundred yards from the Tennessee state line near the Red Ace. The location has previously been used as a car lot and a tobacco shack among other functions. Its current use is unknown.
Gorman Wilson, whose niece was Lawson’s wife, said that Lawson has lived in the area most of his life.
“He was a real good guy. He was a short order cook a lot of the time,” Wilson said.
Lawson formerly worked at Wendy’s and Highland Park Drive-In.
“He kept to himself pretty much,” Wilson said. “He was a good fella and a good father.”
Over half a dozen KSP officers were at the scene investigating Monday in addition to Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies John Hill and Brandon Prewitt. Officers were still on the scene as of 7 p.m. Monday.
KSP Detective Billy Correll and Croley are continuing the investigation.
Further updates will be made as information becomes available.