Sheriff’s office investigating murder in Tarkington

A suspicious death that was first believed to be a suicide is now being investigated as a murder, according to Det. Mark Ellington, spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. Around 12 p.m. Wednesday, deputies were called to a home on Pine Court off of CR 2282 in Tarkington.

The initial call to authorities was made by a neighbor, Ellington said.

“The neighbor heard a gunshot last night around 1 a.m. He went over to check on the individual this morning and found him deceased in his shed that is converted into a livable space,” the detective said. “There is no firearm near the body and the scene doesn’t look right, so they end up calling investigators out.”

The investigation revealed that forced entry was made on the door to the shed. Ellington said the man suffered at least one, possibly two, gunshot wounds to the head.

The shooting victim is identified as Robert Strong, 66, of Tarkington.

The motive of the shooting is still unclear, Ellington said.

Pct. 5 Justice of the Peace Wade Brown performed the inquest and ordered an autopsy. Strong’s body was taken to Beaumont for an autopsy by Neal Funeral Home of Cleveland.

An update will be posted as new information warrants.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. The last sentence should read, “Neal Funeral Home of Cleveland transported Strong’s body to Beaumont for an autopsy.” Otherwise, it looks like the autopsy is going to be performed by Neal Funeral Home in Cleveland, even though the body was taken to Beaumont. Just trying to help.

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