On Wednesday, the Shreveport Police Department released the name of a man whose body was discovered floating in Cross Lake last week. He is 54-year-old Marion Lee Brown of Parker County, which is near Weatherford, Texas.
"We really weren't anticipating that. We were hoping to get on the front end of things, interviewing witnesses in the Fort Worth area before they get stormed by the media," said Sheriff Smith.
Shreveport police said that on May 24 at around 11 a.m. they were called to an area of Cross Lake near the I-220 bridge because a body had been discovered. The body was that of an adult Caucasian male who appeared to have sustained significant trauma to the head. The remains were taken to the Caddo Parish Coroners Office for an autopsy.
Authorities identified the remains through a comparison of fingerprint data obtained from the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. The Shreveport Police Department was contacted by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office after they learned a man feared missing from Weatherford fit the description of the body pulled from Cross Lake. Those agencies are now working together and with other law enforcement agencies during the ongoing investigation.
"We're looking at any kind of video or still photography or anything we can find from Parker County to Louisiana," said Sheriff Smith when asked about surveillance cameras capturing the suspects driving the victim's car.
Smith said about five percent of the victim's body was found early on May 23, rolled up in a carpet and set ablaze on County Road 371.
"We knew when we found the first things, and then the vehicle, anything was possible," Smith said.
The vehicle, a 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser, was found Friday afternoon near Lavender Road, just north of Interstate 20 near Tyler State Park. Sheriff Smith says the Red Springs Volunteer Fire Department discovered the vehicle while responding to a fire. The vehicle was engulfed in flames when Sheriff Smith arrived. Authorities at the scene said no human remains were found inside the burned vehicle.
"We are looking for anybody that may have been with the victim or around him, especially in the early evening hours in Fort Worth last Thursday or any time during the day on Friday," said Smith. Officials are also looking for a second vehicle involved in the murder. Sheriff Smith says they do not have a description of the second vehicle yet.