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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - December 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk Count
y Publishing Company

Body of missing man found near Coldspring
Polk County Enterprise - December 2009

POINT BLANK – The body of a 52-year-old Fort Bend County man was recovered in Stephens Creek Saturday and two arrested for his murder. Ronald Dewars was reported missing about three weeks ago, according to San Jacinto County Criminal District Attorney Bill Burnett. “Fort Bend County Missing Persons Investigator Scott Heinemeyer and Texas Ranger Kip Westmoreland contacted San Jacinto County Criminal District Attorney Investigator Van Loggins last Wednesday about Dewars,” Burnett said. “Heinemeyer developed a San Jacinto County connection with James Michael McLaughlin, 49, the last person seen with Dewars,” Burnett said. According to Burnett, McLaughlin and his wife, Rebecca McLaughlin, 48, moved to Point Blank about six months ago where they resided in a mobile home park on Stephens Creek. “James McLaughlin wanted to buy a Mustang vehicle and Dewars had a 2007 black Shelby Mustang. The black Mustang was found in front of McLaughlin’s house with a for sale sign on it,” Burnett said.

“San Jacinto County Pct. 4 Constable Alvin Wyatt knows James McLaughlin and where he lives because he has an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest out of Burleson County for the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,” Burnett said. James McLaughlin was arrested on the outstanding felony warrant last Thursday and taken into custody by San Jacinto County while Rebecca McLaughlin traveled to Fort Bend County to stay with her sister, according to Burnett. “McLaughlin’s landlord, Bill Clop, informed Wyatt that McLaughlin had him dig a big hole with his backhoe for a large dog about two or three weeks ago. After he dug the hole, Clop was notified by McLaughlin that he needed to cover the hole. All Clop could see in the hole was plywood and other stuff and he was told by McLaughlin he didn’t want critters to get in the hole and asked him to cover it,” Burnett said.

Friday Texas Ranger Ron Duff obtained a cadaver dog to search the area. The dog got a positive hit on the covered hole,” Burnett said. An FBI Evidence Recovery Team, headed by Jamie Potest, was called and Saturday a dig was initiated along with the execution of a search warrant on the McLaughlin’s home. Dewars’ drivers’ licenses and credit cards were found inside the McLaughlin’s home, according to Burnett. “In the hole, the plywood was uncovered and a body discovered,” Burnett said. The body was sent to Beaumont for autopsy and identified as Ronald Dewars, Burnett said. Saturday night arrest warrants were issued for James and Rebecca McLaughlin. James was already incarcerated in San Jacinto County and Rebecca was arrested at her sister’s home in Fort Bend County, according to Burnett. Burnett said a $500,000 bond on each has been set for Dewars’ murder. “Results of a continuing investigation could elevate the murder charges to capital murder,” Burnett said. “The cause of Dewars’ death has not been released at this time because there could be more people involved,” Burnett said.

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