“The cases appear to be highly connected,” Murphy-Milano said. “Shell casings that appeared to be from the missing Glock were found on the 88-acre farm where authorities discovered Ashley's remains,” Milano said. “Once those shell casings were found, the OSBI put out a bulletin for the missing gun.”
Families of both victims also said Sweat was an acquaintance of Paschel-Placker's mother, Jennifer.
Mosher said Sweat's grandfather lives near the Paschal-Placker's home and the scene of the shooting four miles northeast of Weleetka. Sweat's father's property is also nearby.
Wayne Woodyard, Kevin Sweat's attorney in the Ashley Taylor case, said he could not comment about whether his client has been questioned in the Weleetka case.
“The concern we have in reference to the Taylor case is the more of that speculation that is done on the Weleetka case, the harder that is going to be to get a fair trial in the Taylor case,” Woodyard said.
Attempts to reach Sweat's father were unsuccessful Thursday.
went missing in July
Ashley Taylor went missing in late July after telling her family she and Kevin Sweat were eloping.
Murphy-Milano said Sweat later told Taylor's family he had been questioned after the Weleetka shootings.
“The OSBI took Kevin's DNA, interviewed and questioned him, and took some of his personal items,” Milano said.
According to an arrest affidavit filed in the Taylor case, Kevin Sweat told investigators he cut her throat July 17. He also said he burned some items on his father's property. Police found human remains in an ash pile, along with pieces of clothing and a pair of prescription glasses that belonged to Taylor.
Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office, said an anthropologist is examining the remains and has not positively identified them yet.
Mosher said he expects Sweat will be charged in the Weleetka case within 30 days.
“We're just all thankful that something positive has finally happened,” Mosher said. “We just hope this brings closure to everybody. We still don't understand why.”