Second suspect in Ericka Bradley case out on bond

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, May 21, 2008

ALLENDALE, S.C. -- One year after he became a suspect in Ericka Bradley's disappearance, deputies finally arrested Jonathan Capps.

He is out on bond, but he is facing very serious charges...and where he is now may surprise you.

A smoke stack billows over an Allendale lumber yard incinerator that investigators now believe may be Eicka Badley's final resting place

"It's very hard for me to see that because how in the world a human being could do something like that," says Ericka's grandmother, Annie Ruth Wright.

But investigators say Jonathan Capps did do it and even bragged about it to friends last year.

"He said he did his friend a favor," says Sheriff Tom Carter, referring to Capps allegedly helping Derrick Maner burn Ericka's body in a fire pit at work. Capps' one regret? Not taking her gold teeth to a pawn shop.

But when investigators questioned him last May, his story changed. "First he tried to say it didn't happen, but we had statements, so then he said 'yes, I said it but it wasn't true'."

A team of investigators and archaeologists searched the plant, but "If they burned her in that incinerator, then the body was probably gone from the beginning."

By all accounts it's a lumberyard Capps should know very well. Not only does he work there, but so do his parents. News 12 spoke to his mother and her husband, and while they declined an interview on camera, they did say after he met bond he went right back to work at the lumberyard.

Sheriff Carter says he's looking ahead to the trial.

Carter: "With what we got, we should get a guilty verdict."
News 12: "But if all you've got on Capps is statements, how is that enough? Or is there more?"
Carter: "There is a possibility more is out there we haven't released yet."
News 12: "Are you waiting until the trial?"
Carter: "Yes."

And as Ericka Bradley's son celebrates his second birthday, at least there are some answers now into how his mother vanished into thin air.

Sheriff Carter says Maner's trial should happen as early as this September.

Ericka's family says without a body it's hard to really grasp that she's gone so the earliest the may consider having a memorial service for her will be after the two trials are over.

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