CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Garrett Kern is on his way back to southwest Florida. He is the man accused of killing his step-grandfather and then dumping his body in the woods in Cape Coral. News of the second degree homicide charges come just hours before James Arthur's memorial service. Arthur's family says through it all, they're thankful for the community support.
"Its been very difficult for the family today," said Connie Jones, Arthur family spokesperson.
A very difficult day of many to come for the family of 80-year-old James Arthur. Sally Arthur will bury her husband on Saturday in Cape Coral and despite her grandson, Garrett Kern, being charged with second degree murder, the family is trying to accept reality.
"The family has always pushed it back and had the thoughts that it was an accident. Something than other this, this stressful," said Jones.
November 3, 2011, Arthur's body was found off Old Burnt Store Road in Cape Coral. It was the same day Kern was arrested in Chicago. Friday, the Cape Coral Police Department announced Arthur's death was homicide and Kern would be facing those charges along with other past charges.
"He will be processed on previous charges and he will be served with the arrest warrant for second degree murder for James Arthur," said Lt. Tony Sizemore, Cape Coral Police Department.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Jones says this weekend they'll celebrate the life of a man who they called dad, husband and friend.
"Jim was such a character. I enjoyed him so much. If you think of Jim, you think of love. You think of non-judgemental," said Jones.
The Athur's consider themselves private and can't thank the community enough for the outpouring of support.
"There are some things you just don't know what to say or how to say it so I really appreciate that and I know she does too. Thank you," said Jones.
The road ahead will be a challenging one for the Arthur family. The say someday soon they want to wake up from the nightmare and find closure.
"Please continue to pray. That is all she said, please continue to pray for the whole situation," said Jones.
A memorial service for James Arthur will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral at 4544 Coronado Parkway. It is open to the public and there will be a reception following the service.