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A missing young Alabama woman was discovered dead at the bottom of a well on Monday — securing her the same devastating fate as her mother who was found murdered four years earlier.
Marka “Willoe” Watkins, 20, was last seen on June 17, and had been reported missing for more than a month, when investigators located her body in a well on a vacant Tuscaloosa property.
Two men, Kendal Tyler Battles, 29, and Joseph Brandon Nevels, 20, have been arrested in her death and charged with murder and abuse of a corpse, WBRC reports.
“We believe Watkins was at one of the suspect’s residence in the 20000 block of Tanya Dr. in Tuscaloosa County when she was assaulted and killed,” Capt. Kip Hart told the Birmingham News. “The suspects then drove her to the address on Will Walker Lane to dispose of the body.”
Additional arrests may also be possible as the investigation continues, authorities said.
The discovery marks a tragic end for a woman who friends and family say had a difficult life.
“She grew up hard, in a hard life, around a lot of drugs,” her cousin Lori Hudgins told the local paper.
Watkins’ mother, Miranda Michelle Lynch, died of blunt-force trauma and a broken neck four years before her daughter’s alleged murder. She was discovered Aug. 7, 2015, in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor of a mobile home. Police believe she had been held against her will for days and repeatedly beaten.
Watkins’ father is also dead.
In the absence of her parents, Watkins had grown particularly close to her grandmother — who was the one to report her missing to authorities last month.
Watkins had tried to break free of her rough life, participating in pageants in high school and earning her high school diploma, but it proved to be a difficult task.
“She wanted to do better but she got involved with some bad people and she couldn’t get away from them,” Hudgins said. “I hope the people who did this go to prison and never get out.”
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