BY KENNETH DEAN, firstname.lastname@example.org
Human remains found burning in a roll of carpet last week in Smith County have now been connected to a Parker County man whose body was found in a lake near Shreveport during the Memorial Day weekend and identified Wednesday, investigators said.
Fingerprint comparisons made by the Smith County Sheriff’s OfficeCrime Scene Unit identified the victim as Marion Lee Brown, 53, of Parker County near Weatherford, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
The information was forwarded to Shreveport, La., authorities associated with the investigation.
Detectives from Parker County, Fort Worth Police Department, Louisiana police, Texas Rangers and Smith County Sheriff’s Office detectives continue to work closely to solve the crime.
The case continued to stump multiple law enforcement agencies in Texas and now Louisiana, Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said Wednesday. Parker County is just west of Fort Worth.
The case began Friday when the remains were found on County Road 371. About 12 hours later, a vehicle connected to the case was found ablaze on Lavender Road.
Smith said detectives during the weekend kept looking for a body and learned of a body found in Cross Lake off of Interstate 20 near Shreveport.
“When we first contacted Shreveport police Sunday, at that time they told us they believed it to be a victim of a propeller from a boat — a boating accident — but we later learned that trauma to that victim and who we believe that victim to be is indicative that the evidence we recovered Friday morning and from the vehicle is very consistent,” he said. “And we’re pretty positive this is going to be the victim we are looking for.”
Smith said the victim did not have a criminal history, and detectives have not developed any ties to the Smith County area.
“Of course, we don’t have a good viable suspect at this time,” he said. “I believe we have data that we have already collected that will tie … suspects to this scene.”
Smith said he could not discuss what parts of the body were found on County Road 371, but stated the man suffered head trauma.
Smith said the burned vehicle and the human remains were only tied together through good detective work.
“We wouldn’t have been able to connect our scene on 371 to the one on Lavender Road of the burned-out vehicle as early as we did on Friday, but thank goodness (for) the work of our detectives, and our crime scene team enabled us to tie those two scenes together.”
“We believe this took place in the bathrooom/bedroom area of a residential structure. The carpet was cut up, not ripped up, so this is the hiding … of a homicide scene,” he said.
Smith heralded his department for their efforts on the case, including the first-arriving deputy, who could have written the burning carpet off as just trash burning instead of looking at it and finding the remains.
“This is going to take a concerted effort from various law enforcement agencies to solve this crime, and we are working with those agencies now. We still don’t know where the homicide took place, so we are still looking for that fourth scene,” he said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at 903-566-6600 or the Tyler/Smith Cou-nty Crimestoppers at 903-597-2833.
Staff writer Betty Waters contributed to this report.