Newton County deputies investigating possible homicide

John Ford

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said that at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, deputies received a call from two fishermen who had discovered a partially burned body in a black late model GMC pickup at Grand Falls on Shoal Creek. The falls are located near Riverview Drive in northern Newton County.

“A father and son were fishing at the falls and noticed an abandoned pickup,” Copeland said. “At first, they thought the windows were tinted, but then noticed that they were smoked, like from a fire. They opened the door of the cab to check, and found the body of a white male in his early 50s.”

The body was partially burned, Copeland said.

“Apparently someone had poured accelerant in the cab of the truck and lit it,” the sheriff said. “The windows and doors on the truck were shut, so the fire burned itself out."

Copeland said he could not release the name of the man found in the pickup, as next of kin have not been notified. He said the man was not from the Newton County area, and was from out-of-state.

Copeland said license plates on the truck indicate a Diamond, Mo., address, but the registration does not match the truck.

The body did not have any gunshot wounds, the sheriff said.

“There was nothing apparent that we could see,” Copeland said. “We have ruled out suicide. We’re 99 percent sure who he is from looking at pictures. But we’re having trouble finding the family.”

The sheriff’s office is investigating the death as a homicide.

Neosho Daily News