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Welch's family coping with news of his fate
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Welch's family coping with news of his fate

From the Read more: The Journal's Pazuzu Algarad coverage from beginning to end series
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At 11 a.m. Monday, Rusty Welch’s day became one he hoped would never arrive.

The remains of his oldest brother, Tommy, had been identified as one of two bodies found in a shallow grave at a Clemmons home last week.

The grave was less than a mile from Rusty Welch’s Clemmons apartment; the one Tommy Welch was headed to when he disappeared.

“We all had plans,” Rusty said. “We were going to sit down and have a good night.”

Rusty Welch, now 30 and living in Rockingham County, worked at Domino’s at the time and was bringing a pizza home. His brother, their mom and Rusty Welch’s wife and children were supposed to meet for dinner and watch movies together.

Tommy Welch never showed up.

“Over the next 24 hours, I had a gut feeling that something was wrong,” Rusty Welch said.

It’s unclear what happened to Tommy Welch that night, but police reports allege that Amber Nicole Burch, 24, killed him and Pazuzu Illah Algarad, 35, helped bury the body.

Tommy Welch was one of two men found buried in the backyard of 2749 Knob Hill Drive, where Algarad and Burch lived with Algarad’s mother, Cynthia Lawson. Algarad and Burch have been charged with murder and accessory after the fact. Krystal Nicole Matlock, 28 of West Fourth Street in Winston-Salem was charged with accessory after the fact.

On the day he disappeared, Tommy Welch was returning from the apartment he shared with his mother on Cook Avenue in Clemmons to the apartment Rusty Welch shared with his wife and two children on Colonial Arms.

A missing persons report was filed the next day: Oct. 4, 2009.

The last five years have been tough, Rusty Welch said.

“I’ve been living my life the last five years like he’d just show up and walk through the doors,” Rusty Welch said. “I thought he’d have big news for us or something and that why he disappeared.

“I didn’t think any of this would happen at all to our family.”

But Rusty Welch says he had a feeling something terrible must have happened to his brother to keep him from spending time with his family.

After learning of Tommy Welch's fate on Monday, Rusty Welch said his other brother, Adam, was spending the day with their mother at her Kernersville home.

This story will be updated.

aherron@wsjournal.com

(336) 727-4068

@ArikaHerron

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