Police: Person found in Trinity River bottom near Liberty was murder victim

The body found last Thursday in the Liberty Bell Ranch off of US 90 between Liberty and Dayton belonged to a murdered male victim, according to a statement from Liberty Police Lt. Chip Fairchild.

The cause of death as homicide was determined from an autopsy that was ordered by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Stephen Hebert.

The autopsy determined that the body belonged to a male victim approximately 20 to 35 years of age. Detectives with Liberty Police Department are working with the Texas Rangers and other agencies to get a positive identification on the victim.

Law enforcement officers collect evidence from a scene on SH 90 between Liberty and Dayton. A body was found in the tall grass in the Liberty Bell Ranch.

The year 2020 might set a record, in the worst kind of way, for the number of murders in Liberty County. Here’s a look back at some of these cases:

  • On Jan. 5, 30-year-old Pamela Marquez was shot and killed in the front yard of her home in Cleveland (no arrest to date);
  • On March 2, Aiden Walker was killed at his home on CR 3557 and three men – Samuel Depina, Demitreon Cosey and Cody Redding – have been charged in connection to his death;
  • On April 30, Trena Monique Jordan was killed near the intersection of S. Holly and Truman streets in Cleveland (Phillip Simmons was arrested for that crime);
  • On May 16, 35-year-old Walter Jamal Harrison was killed outside a home on the 600 block of Field Ave. in Cleveland where he had attended a party earlier in the evening (another partygoer, Matthew Ryan Webb, 27, has been charged with Harrison’s murder);
  • On Aug. 17, three people – Misty Herndon, Richard Lamm and Bruce Mercer – were shot to death and two others were wounded when an alleged shooter, Michael Wettstein, went on a rampage in his neighborhood on CR 4091 in Dayton; and
  • On Sept. 16, Robert Strong, 66, of Tarkington, was allegedly killed by two men, Craig Russell Bryant, 46, of Tarkington, and Randal Scott Dowden, 53, of New Caney, who have since been charged with Strong’s shooting death.
  • On Sept. 19, a young woman was killed as she tried to escape the home of Jose Marin Soriano on CR 3415 in the Rancho San Vicente Subdivision. Another woman, handcuffed to a bed inside the house, made the call to 911 after Soriano reportedly left his phone behind after he chased after the first female.
  • On Oct. 4, a 29-year-old Spring woman, Markie McGinnis, was murdered on FM 2839 South in Raywood while waiting for a train to pass. The alleged murderer, 24-year-old Henry Davis of New Orleans, is awaiting trial at the Liberty County Jail.
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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. And the lib-tard democrats want to defund the police…? We need to empower our Police and allow them to do their job! G K Sattler

  2. I was shot in Liberty Texas in oct 9 2020 at Liberty foot ball field parking lot in the head ,I am in Willis Texas I am alive, bullet still in my head and losing eye sight in one eye. There was some one eles in my car 2018 Train GMC. now it sounded like a girls voice my hair stuck in door unlock door Iam here to help you, then some one opened the back hatch and crawled in . He said I will kill you yet

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