Four in custody in connection to unidentified body found in Carson River
Ryan Summerlin April 7, 2013
Four Carson City-area residents, two of whom were arrested on suspicion of murder, were in custody Saturday following the disappearance of a 62-year-old Carson City man.
The Carson City Sheriff’s Office search-and-rescue team found a body wrapped in a blanket and bound with duct tape in the Carson River, just south of Carson River Road, at 8:10 a.m. Saturday, according to Sheriff Ken Furlong. The body has not yet been identified; authorities think it might be that of William McCune, Nevada’s chief insurance examiner, who was reported missing Wednesday after he failed to show up for work.
Based on information gathered by detectives, members of the Special Enforcement Team were sent to Las Vegas and arrested three suspects Saturday morning on the Las Vegas Strip. The fourth suspect, Michael Evans, 23, was arrested early Saturday in Carson City on suspicion of murder, battery with a deadly weapon causing substantial bodily harm, burglary and murder of an older person. Bail was set at $550,000, Furlong said.
Anthony Elliot, 20, was arrested on suspicion of murder and placed on a no-bail hold. Makyla Blackmore, 20, and Raul Garcia, 22, both were arrested on suspicion of burglary with bail set at $15,000 each. All three were arrested on warrants in connection with the disappearance of McCune, according to Furlong.
Teams searched the area through Friday night but were unable to find the body. After 30 minutes of searching in daylight the next day, they found the body, Furlong said. An autopsy has been performed, but a lack of records to compare it to has delayed identification. The search for McCune has ended, Furlong said.
While the search for the body was taking place, the sheriff’s office was working to obtain warrants and information on the four suspects.
“This was a massive, all-night operation,” Furlong said.
The three arrested by the SET team, working in conjunction with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, were taken into custody shortly after 10 a.m., Furlong said.
“It had to go fast once the body was found,” he said.
Detectives were unsure of the suspects’ possible motive or any ties to McCune, Furlong said.
Investigators continue to think McCune’s death concerned “personal” matters and was not work-related, the sheriff said. He declined to elaborate.
The three in Las Vegas were allegedly attempting to sell stolen property, and the sheriff’s office was working with businesses and law enforcement in Las Vegas to both identify the suspects and the things they were trying to sell, Furlong said.
“At this point, we believe all four took part in his murder and disappearance,” Furlong told The Associated Press. “We anticipate that the district attorney’s office will amend the criminal complaint to also charge (Garcia and Blackmore) with murder.”
Furlong said he thinks the latter three fled Carson City on Friday after news broke of McCune’s disappearance.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the four had an attorney. The three suspects in Las Vegas are expected to be returned to Carson City within a week, Furlong said.
McCune’s residence is still being processed for evidence collection, which is expected to be finished within a few days.
“We haven’t finished interviews and work at the scene to substantiate theories about a motive,” Furlong said. “We’re still processing the house and coming up with many alternatives.”
McCune did not show up for work Wednesday and failed to board a scheduled flight Thursday. When a deputy looked inside his apartment, it appeared a violent confrontation had taken place with blood spattered throughout, Furlong said. The Villas of Dolphin Bay Apartments, where the possible altercation occurred, is in the 700 block of Silver Oak Drive.
One or two of the suspects knew McCune, Furlong said, while the other two likely did not. At McCune’s apartment, there was no signs of forced entry.
The crime-scene investigator told Furlong it is the most intensive scene he has investigated in 25 years, Furlong said.
McCune had held his position since December 2009 and worked similar jobs for two decades before that, said Nevada Division of Insurance spokesman Jake Sunderland.
As head of the division’s corporate and financial affairs section, McCune worked to ensure the solvency of insurance companies in the state. He was charged with ensuring each company had sufficient money in their reserves to cover all claims and obligations.
McCune was single and had no known children, Furlong said.
Furlong said the search for McCune and the apprehension of the four subjects was greatly helped by cooperation and tips from residents and businesses. The suspects were spotted in the area of McCune’s apartment, the sheriff said.
While authorities have not found McCune’s pickup — a 2000 maroon Dodge Dakota pickup with tinted windows and license plate 769XTL — they located its license plates Friday night at a Carson City residence that Evans was known to have frequented, the sheriff said.
“We’re still searching for the truck, but it’s unlicensed,” Furlong said. McCune’s car was found Thursday at a nearby apartment complex.
The investigation remains open, and the sheriff’s office is encouraging anyone with information regarding the death or the truck to call the office at 775-887-2500.