April 1, 2019

The last person who police say saw 23-year-old Charles Lawrence McBride alive has been arrested for allegedly murdering him.

Authorities said Ben Savage, 36, of Challis, was arrested Saturday afternoon at Idaho Falls Regional Airport on a murder warrant for killing McBride, also of Challis.

Savage is being held at the Bonneville County Jail in Idaho Falls on the murder charge. Authorities have thus far not released any details on his arrest or on what led them to charge him with murdering McBride, who apparently worked for Savage.

Authorities also would not comment on why Savage was at Idaho Falls Regional Airport at the time of his arrest.

McBride’s burned and buried body was found last Sunday evening up the Morgan Creek drainage northwest of Challis. The Custer County Sheriff’s Office and Idaho State Police said soon afterward that they were investigating his death as a homicide.

Authorities said a tip led to the recovery of McBride’s body, which was subsequently transported to Boise for an autopsy where the body was identified as McBride.

Authorities declined to say how long McBride had been dead.

McBride was last seen in Challis on Feb. 25 when he was reportedly going with Savage to cut firewood up Morgan Creek, authorities said.

McBride was reported missing on March 3, according to the Custer County Sheriff’s Office.

Savage was the last person to see McBride, Custer County Sheriff Stu Lumpkin said. Savage had told police he dropped McBride off in Challis on Feb. 25 to get some work boots and that was the last time he saw him, authorities said.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday said that it had multiple suspects in McBride’s murder.

But authorities on Saturday night would not comment on whether any other individuals were going to be arrested in connection to McBride’s death.

The Custer County Sheriff’s Office would not specify exactly what degree of murder Savage is being charged with. The most severe homicide charge is first-degree murder which carries a possible death sentence.

The Challis Messenger contributed to this report.