Mother of man’s skeleton found in burned pickup speaks out

Photo: WIAT

WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Eric Cates mother, Tobbie Stover, was emotional when talking about the gruesome death of her son.

“To know that there was nothing in the car except skeleton was heart wrenching.  I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through this. No one,” said Stover.

Eric Cates, 32, was discovered burned inside a pickup truck behind an abandoned school off Empire Road in Walker County — along with his dog, Gypsy. Hunters came across the gruesome scene Saturday afternoon.

“The only thing on my mind was why. It was a horrific scene.” said Stover.

Right now, details surrounding Cates death are still under investigation, but his mother has taken to social media for support.  The “Justice for Eric Cates” Facebook page has already garnered over 7,000 likes. Posts described Cates as:

  • A gentle giant.
  • Funny and kind.
  • He would literally give you the shirt off his back.

Stover, who is a mother of two boys, is now preparing to lay her youngest to rest.

“The people who know something and don’t come forward are just as guilty as the people who did this,” says Stover.

Walker County Sheriff Jim Underwood says his office is still waiting on forensics to determine an official cause of death.

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