EDELSTEIN,Ill.– Gary Berchtold from Edelstein, has been accused of killing, burning, and hiding the remains of Tiffini Murphy.
Berchtold was charged on Saturday at the Marshall County Courthouse with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of dismembering a human body and one count of a concealed homicidal death.
This all comes after Marshall County authorities were led by a witness to a property on the Marshall-Peoria County Line on Tuesday, where they found remains — bones and hair. They are thought to be Murphy’s but they have been sent off for DNA verification.
Murphy went missing nearly a year ago. Earlier this year, authorities were told Berchtold was the last person to be seen with Murphy. He then was brought in to questioning.
Berchtold told authorities the last time he saw her as August 31, 2018. He said he and a friend dropped her off at a former Casey’s in Lacon.
Recently, deputies said a friend came forward and explained what his account of what happened the night Murphy died.
This man said Murphy, who was intoxicated, got into a fight with Berchtold and came home with them after.
When the three got to the house, He said Berchtold told him to go inside the home and not come out no matter what he hears. He said he then heard five to six gun shots. The next morning he realized Murphy was gone and a fire was burning outside. He admits he helped Berchtold get rid of the burnt pile.
After hearing that story, deputies re-questioned Berchtold. That’s when he changed his story.
Berchtold told deputies he was actually breaking up a fight between Murphy and the friend, when a gun went off. When Berchtold realized she was dead, he decided to get rid of Murphy’s body by burning her.
The cause of death has not been officially determined at this time.
Berchtold’s next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. the Marshall County Courthouse. He could face up to life in prison, and his bond was set at $1 million.
This article will be updated when more information is available.