The Smith County Sheriff's Department released the following update on the investigation of human remains found last Friday:
Since the recovery of burned human remains on Smith County Road 371 last Friday at approximately 7 a.m., Smith County detectives have worked around the clock in an attempt to locate the body of the victim.
At approximately 4:20 p.m. last Friday, a burned vehicle was recovered off Lavender Road north of Interstate 20 which was believed to belong to the victim. A potential victim was identified as detectives sifted through burned debris at the County Road 371 location last Friday morning. That potentially identified victim has not returned to his residence in Parker County, west of Fort Worth, nor has he returned to work since this string of events occurred.
Detectives from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office traveled to the Parker County and Fort Worth area this past Friday and as late as yesterday in an attempt to turn up additional evidence and clues in this investigation. All investigative leads and all investigative procedures available to detectives are being utilized in this investigation.
During the press release last Friday, Sheriff Larry Smith reported that he believed there would be at least three separate crime scenes. This information was derived from the evidence Sheriff Smith and detectives observed at the original scene on County Road 371. That scene was obviously a scene at which the perpetrators discarded valuable evidence obviously subsequent to cleaning up the original homicide scene. Evidence was recovered from that scene which strongly indicates this original homicide occurred within a motel room or residential type structure.
Other electronic information is being utilized to track the path of the victim since last Thursday, the day prior to the homicide. The Smith County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Texas Rangers this past Friday due to numerous jurisdictions being involved. The use of the Texas Rangers, who have statewide jurisdiction, is of tremendous value in the collection of evidence from the multiple counties involved in this investigation.
Prior to the discovery on Smith County Road 371 this past Friday, no law enforcement entity even knew that a homicide had occurred. Sheriff Smith credits the painstaking crime scene processing of that charred scene by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit as well as numerous detectives with being as far in this investigation as we are. There was little information to work with at that scene, however, due to the tedious and meticulous processing of that scene a potential victim was identified which allowed detectives to take the next steps in the investigation.
This information also allowed detectives to link that crime scene with the scene approximately 12 hours later where the burning vehicle belonging to the victim was recovered off Lavender Road north of Interstate 20.
A search of the victim’s residence in Parker County was conducted by the Parker County Sheriff’s Office as well as Texas Rangers who were in constant contact with Smith County detectives.
Smith County detectives learned on Sunday morning that a body had been recovered from Cross Lake in Shreveport, La. Smith County detectives contacted Shreveport detectives and at first were told the victim apparently died as the result of a boat propeller. Smith County detectives again contacted the Caddo Parrish coroner’s office yesterday and forwarded a photograph of the potential victim associated with the Smith County investigation. The coroner made a tentative identification by facial recognition alone. No positive identification has been made at this time, therefore, no identification will be released until that has been achieved. This is in the process now possibly by dental records as well as DNA.
Sheriff Smith stated, “This investigation is going to require a concerted effort among multiple law enforcement jurisdictions working closely together to bring it to a successful conclusion.”
Should any citizen or law enforcement agency have any information that may be beneficial to this investigation, they are asked to call the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 566-6600 and provide their contact number as well as the information be forwarded immediately to Smith County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sergeant Clint Benson.