WEST FRANKFORT — A West Frankfort man who authorities say led them to the body of a 29-year-old woman on Monday has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. 

Thomas McCoy, 48, of West Frankfort, also faces charges of one count each of concealment of a homicidal death and abuse of a corpse, according to a Tuesday morning statement from Franklin County Assistant State's Attorney Phillip Butler.

His bond has been set at $5 million. 

The charges allege that McCoy killed Kendra Ardery by inflicting physical trauma to her head and neck, and then sexually abused the deceased victim before hiding her body, according to the Franklin County State's Attorney's Office.   

The West Frankfort and Johnston City police departments, along with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, began an investigation into Ardery's disappearance on Sunday, according to West Frankfort Police Chief John Prudent. 

Prudent told The Southern on Monday that the investigation identified McCoy as a suspect, and that during an interview, McCoy disclosed the location of her body and “led investigators to Angelville Road” in Williamson County. McCoy told police that he and Ardery had an “on-again, off-again” relationship, according to Prudent. 

McCoy was arrested Monday and booked at the Franklin County Jail, where he remains in custody. A hearing and bond review has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Franklin County Courthouse. The West Frankfort Police Department is leading the investigation, with assistance from the Illinois State Police and Franklin County Sheriff's Office. 

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