OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) — In a significant development, Opelika Police Detectives, in collaboration with members of Alpha Team K9 Search & Rescue, made a grim discovery on October 11, 2023, leading to the arrest of two suspects in connection with the disappearance of 28-year-old Reggie Cornelius Stokes.
The investigation into Stokes’ disappearance led authorities to identify 40-year-old Matthew James Dillon and 40-year-old Francis Harland Hamblin as potential suspects. Both Dillon, originally from Ohio, and Hamblin, hailing from New York, had recently relocated to the Opelika area.
During the course of the investigation, human remains were located in a wooded area near the 100 Block of Bay Court. Following the discovery of the remains, and after consultation with the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, Dillon and Hamblin were taken into custody.
Both suspects have been charged with murder, marking a significant development in the ongoing investigation into Stokes’ disappearance. Authorities have stressed that the investigation remains active, and anyone with information pertinent to this case is urged to contact the Opelika Police Department Detective Division at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665. Tips can also be submitted through the Opelika Police Mobile App, and individuals who wish to remain anonymous will have the option to do so.