Body discovered in shallow grave identified as missing Alabama man; how he died remains a mystery

Published 9:33 am Thursday, March 7, 2024

A body found Tuesday afternoon in a shallow grave has been identified as an Alabama man who vanished early Sunday morning, authorities said.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates said Wednesday that the body was identified as Jewel Bendolph, 38, of Birmingham, by matching a fingerprint.

Bendolph was last seen at approximately 4 a.m. Sunday at a Birmingham gas station.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to an abandoned car found at a location in the 5200 block of Dewey Heights Road.

Investigators said it appeared the car was identified as Bendolph’s and the vehicle had been intentionally concealed.

Investigators brought in cadaver dogs and eventually found what they described as a clandestine, shallow grave in a wooded area in the Pinson area.

Yates said the investigation is being handled as a homicide with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office leading the case. Officials have not provided details of how they think Bendolph was killed. No one had been arrested in the case by Thursday morning.

Investigators ask that anyone with information about the case contact them at 205-325-1450 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.