Charleston man arrested in connection with death

Corryn Brock, Staff Writer

A Charleston man has been arrested in connection to the death of a Charleston woman whose body was found June 25.

Joshua A. Fairchild, 26, of 802 Jackson Ave. was charged with first degree murder and concealing homicidal death. The murder charge accuses him of intending “to kill or do great bodily harm…or knows that such acts will cause death to that individual.”

Fairchild is accused of involvement in the death of Cheleta Branch, a woman living in Charleston.

Charleston Police Department officers responded to the 800 block of Jackson Avenue on June 25 for a well-being check and located Fairchild there at his residence.

Officers searched the property and found Branch’s body. Fairchild was then transported to the Charleston Police Department for further investigation where police say they developed probable cause and arrested Fairchild for Branch’s murder.

According to court records, Fairchild was on probation at the time of his arrest for a Class A misdemeanor from 2020.

Previously, Fairchild had also been convicted of theft and battery.

The Coles County Coroner’s Office could not be reached for comment.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]