Jerry Trussell is speaking to KAKE News in his first ever interview. 

Trussell is in prison for his role in the murder of Franklin "Punkie" Harrod Jr.

Harrod is a Butler County man, believed to have been murdered in 1997, although his body has never been found.  

Trussell is the only one, of three people convicted, still serving time.

"I understand the situation. In that situation, I didn't do nothing as far as hurting nobody. I am literally trying to help them and go forward with the investigation and help find the bodies," Trussell told KAKE's Hannah King. 

In December of last year, investigators told KAKE where Punkie Harrod's body may be. Investigators were told missing Alabama man, Rickey Nelms, is allegedly next to him. It wasn't until then, Jerry says, anyone knew what happened to Nelms. Nelms was last heard from in Sedgwick County in 1988.

“I don't have nothing to hide. I'm in prison. I'm 60-something years old. I have nothing."

He says he buried Nelms. He also says he's helping with the investigation into recovering the remains.

"I let them (investigators) know what happened, who killed Rickey Nelms, I let them know who done that, I took them to the place that Rickey Nelms was buried at and showed them. I can’t remember the direct spot, but he is in that field."

He told KAKE he only knew of that spot because he was responsible for burying Punkie Harrod, at that same location, almost 10 years later. He has though been sentenced and convicted for his role in Harrod's death. 

Trussell says he's helping investigators find the bodies.

"They've come and got me several times and we've rode out there and I have showed them the field." 

Now, he says, he can’t remember exactly where the two are. He's even had several trips to the location in question with authorities. Still, neither men have been found.

KAKE attempted to talk to Tammy, Jerry’s former wife. She told us to ask him. She was allegedly present when Punkie was buried.

"I'm hoping that we can find them," Trussell said.

Jerry says he told investigators what happened to Rickey Nelms and who is responsible. The investigation into Nelms' death though is ongoing.

No charges have ever been filed in his disappearance. 

Trussell says, a man told him, if he didn’t dig the hole (for Rickey Nelms), his wife and daughter would be next in the ground.

"I just seen the man just kill somebody, so we loaded the body up in the white van and went to the field that I showed them at and he had me get out and dig the hole with them standing there with guns on me. I dug the hole and that's where we put him."

Investigators are working to verify this story. 

"I know this is bad, but I'm sorry," Trussell said. "But sorry ain't good enough. It's one of them deals that I live with it everyday. I live and breathe and think about it every day. Everyday. If I could turn back time, there's really no words that can express how bad I feel," Trussell said when asked if there is anything he wanted to share with the families of the two victims. 

"I told investigators I wouldn't leave Kansas until we find them... until we found the bodies."

After extensive efforts, still, the remains have never been recovered.

One week ago, investigators searched for evidence after receiving a tip in relation to Nelms' disappearance. 

A substantial reward is being offered if someone could lead investigators to either of the bodies.

Rickey Nelms has been missing since 1988. Punkie Harrod was last heard from in 1997.

If you have any information that could help with recovering the remains of Rickey Nelms or Punkie Harrod, you are asked to contact the Butler County Sheriff's Office. 

Email crime tips: [email protected]
Crime tip phone number:  (316) 322-8817 or 866-484-5924