Cullman County brothers found in woods possibly dead from fentanyl-laced drugs, family says

By Carol Robinson

The wife of one of two men found dead after they were reported missing earlier this week said investigators believe the deaths may be a drug overdose.

Braxton Thomas, 30, and Rico Tannehill, 28, were last seen Sunday in the Haleyville area. They were found dead Wednesday in Winston County.

Thomas’s wife, Samantha Creighton, said she believes someone gave Thomas and Tannehill drugs laced with fentanyl without their knowledge.

GoFundMe has been started to help Creighton and her six children, five of whom still live at home.

“This family is already going through enough between all this heartbreak with the loss of her husband and the kids’ father,’’ the GoFundMe says. “Even through the grieving, the bills keep coming.”

The Winston County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday night said Thomas and Tannehill were found dead in a vehicle in a wooded area off County Road 17.

No other details have been released, including whether foul play is suspected in their deaths.

A statement by the Winston County Sheriff’s Office said it “offers the families of the deceased our deepest condolences and prayers as they mourn the loss of their loved ones.”

Repeated calls to the sheriff’s office and the Winston County Coroner’s Office have not been returned.

Braxton Thomas Rico Tannehill
Braxton Thomas and his brother, Rico Tannehill were found dead Nov. 8, 2023. Thomas is shown here with his wife, Samantha Creighton, and their children.(GoFundMe)

In an earlier interview, Samantha Creighton, Thomas’s wife, said she last saw her husband when she went to bed about 11 p.m. Sunday. Tannehill lived with them.

When she woke up about 7 a.m. Monday, they were gone.

“It was very unusual that he would up and leave in the middle of the night and not tell me because he tells me everything,’’ she said.

Creighton and Thomas have two kids together, and Thomas has raised Creighton’s four older children as his own. The oldest is 20 and the youngest is 7.

She said she called their 18-year-old son and asked him if Thomas was at home when he left for work. The son said he was not and that he assumed his father had gone out to get breakfast.

Creighton started calling and texting her husband, but to no avail.

Then, she said, both Thomas’s and Tannehill’s phones stopped ringing at all.

“It’s horrific,’’ she said. “It’s devastating.”

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.

“We are just trying to stay strong,’’ Creighton said.

Donations to the GoFundMe can be made here.