By Alton Mitchell
As the Labor Day weekend approaches many residents in East Central Alabama are thinking about hitting the local area waters for a weekend of rest and relaxation. One popular destination is Lake Harding located on the southern fringes of Chambers County near the Lee County line it serves as the perfect close to home getaway. However just a little over a week before the popular summer holiday destination is packed with vacationers, Lake Harding served as the scene of a brutal homicide that has left a Valley man in jail.
On Friday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s department responded to a call at 625 Lee Road 361 in Valley. When responding deputies arrived to the home located in Lee County near the Chambers County Line they found a 46-year-old man dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Deputies identified the victim as Jay Allen Danford, the home owner.
Investigators with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department began their investigation into what led to the death of Danford. During that investigation it was discovered that the victim’s vehicle was missing from the residence. Investigators issue an alert to local law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the missing vehicle.
In addition to the missing vehicle investigators also noticed that Danford’s 30-year-old roommate was missing as well. Around 6 p.m. Friday evening in the City of Valley the missing vehicle and the roommate identified as Chadd Van Blaircom were located. The vehicle had been involved in an accident in Valley. Police did confirm finding a firearm in the vehicle at the accident scene. During the course of the vehicle accident Blaircom was injured and would be transported to East Alabama Medical Center for treatment.
Following treatment for his injuries Blaircom was arrested and charged with murder and first-degree theft of property by officials from the Lee County investigators. He has been booked into the Lee County Jail presently being held without bond. He is expected to go before a judge by Wednesday August 31, 2016 where a bond could be set. No funeral arrangements have been made for Danford as of yet, but the family has set up a GoFundMe page to assist with funeral expenses.