Detective testifies missing woman had been beaten, stabbed

Chadwick Hunt

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A detective investigating the disappearance and death of Clara Morgan O’Brien testified Thursday that autopsy results revealed she had been beaten and stabbed numerous times.

That information came out during a preliminary hearing for Chadwick Hunt, 44, of Lick Creek, who is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

Kentucky State Police Det. Dustin Thompson testified that O’Brien’s body had been found wrapped in plastic bags and stuffed in a drain pipe running beneath the road near Hunt’s home. He also said a sticker on one of the bags had the name of Hunt’s father on it.

Clara Morgan O’Brien

Thompson said when he questioned Hunt about O’Brien’s death, Hunt gave several different stories to police. First he told the detective that O’Brien had come by his house and then left.

After the detective revealed that he’d found the sticker on the bag, he then claimed she had overdosed at his house and he had then placed her body outside.

Finally, after Thompson revealed that O’Brien had been stabbed and beaten, he said Hunt then claimed she had been killed by someone else and that he’d helped clean up the mess and, several days later, get rid of the body.

After hearing the evidence, District Judge Tommy May ruled that there was sufficient probable cause for a grand jury to consider filing formal charges in the case.

Judge May also declined to adjust Hunt’s $25,000 full-cash bond, and he remains in the Pike County Detention Center.