Barbourville man murdered, body found at Hinkle

A body found Friday morning at Hinkle has been identified as that of Michael Sowders, 32, of Barbourville.

Kentucky State Police troopers from Post 10 Harlan responded to a call Friday morning of a body found off Hinkle Branch Road by inmates, along with guards from the Bell County Forestry Service, who were cleaning up a dump site in an embankment where the body was discovered.

Troopers ascertained that the body, belonging to Sowders, had been murdered and placed at the dump site.

Sowders’ body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an autopsy. According to KSP, the cause of death is still under investigation and more information will be released when available.

Assisting KSP at the scene were Knox County Coroner Mike Blevins and the Knox County SORT team, who assisted in recovery of Sowders’ body.

At this time, no arrests have been made.

KSP Detective Jake Wilson is continuing the investigation.

** An earlier post stated the body was discovered at Paynes Creek Road. Paynes Creek Road transitions into Hinkle Branch Road. **