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Update: Body discovered on May 27 on County Road 4600 in Fred.

On Wednesday May 31, Tyler County Investigators received the preliminary autopsy report from Forensic Medical of Texas located in Beaumont. After reviewing the autopsy findings, the Tyler County Sheriff's department can confirm that we are investigating a homicide case.

The Sheriff's Office is working closely with surrounding southeast Texas law enforcement agencies as well as the Texas Rangers on receiving a positive identification on the victim.

Original Story:

Wrapped Body Found Burning in Tyler County

On Saturday May 27, at approximately 10:43p.m., the Tyler County Sheriffs' Office received a call reporting a small woods fire. The Spurger Volunteer Fire Department responded to County Road 4600, just off highway 92, located north of Fred.

On the scene, firemen located a small fire just off the county road. After extinguishing the fire, firemen located a deceased human body wrapped inside enclosed material. Tyler County Deputies and Investigators were called to the scene. At press time, authorities believe the body is that of a white male. Judge Trisher Ford has ordered an autopsy that will be conducted late Monday or early Tuesday in Beaumont and details will be made available as soon as possible.

This investigation is in the very early stages, we will update the media as well as the general public as new information becomes available.

Man Missing since Sunday Found Dead In Tyler County

On Sunday May 28, at approximately 8 a.m., the Tyler County Sheriffs' Office received a call regarding an overdue boater on the Neches River, just north of the bridge on Recreational Road 255. This area is also known as "Fox's Bend", and is located in the northeast part of Tyler County just off County Road 3900.

Texas Game Wardens, Federal Park Service Rangers and Tyler County Deputies responded to the area. It was reported to authorities that George "Cliff " Neyland III, age 36 of Colmesneil, had got into a small boat the previous morning alone on the Neches River and had not been heard from since. Authorities patrolled and searched the Neches River with sonar imaging but were unable to located Neyland or his boat.

Authorities continued to search the river and surrounding area on Monday and Tuesday with no sign of Neyland . On Wednesday, May 31 at approximately 11:15 a.m., the Tyler County Sheriffs' Office received a call from an individual checking on his camp, who discovered a body floating in the Neches River. Deputies and investigators as well as Texas Game Wardens were able to positively identify the body to be that of George "Cliff " Neyland III. Justice of the Peace Trisher Ford has ordered an autopsy that will be performed later this week at the Southeast Texas Forensic Center, located in Beaumont.

Wrapped Body Found Burning in Tyler County

On Saturday May 27, at approximately 10:43p.m., the Tyler County Sheriffs' Office received a call reporting a small woods fire. The Spurger Volunteer Fire Department responded to County Road 4600, just off highway 92, located north of Fred.

On the scene, firemen located a small fire just off the county road. After extinguishing the fire, firemen located a deceased human body wrapped inside enclosed material. Tyler County Deputies and Investigators were called to the scene. At press time, authorities believe the body is that of a white male. Judge Trisher Ford has ordered an autopsy that will be conducted late Monday or early Tuesday in Beaumont and details will be made available as soon as possible.

This investigation is in the very early stages, we will update the media as well as the general public as new information becomes available.

First Responders honored by Methodist Men

Tyler County’s First Responders were honored with a banquet hosted by the Woodville United Methodist Church Men’s Breakfast Group Saturday evening, May 29, in the WUMC’s Wesley Center.  Pictured are most of the first responders who came, though several had to return to duty before the photo was taken.  Tyler County’s First Responders were honored with a banquet hosted by the Woodville United Methodist Church Men’s Breakfast Group Saturday evening, May 29, in the WUMC’s Wesley Center. Pictured are most of the first responders who came, though several had to return to duty before the photo was taken.

by Michael G. Maness

Tyler County's First Responders were honored with a banquet hosted by the Woodville United Methodist Church Men's Breakfast Group on Saturday evening, May 29, in the WUMC's Wesley Center.

The group's president, Woodville Mayor Russ Nalley, said they wanted to honor those who risk their lives to help us. This second annual banquet drew about 50 from a variety of services including the Tyler County Sheriff's Office, Woodville Police Department and several of the local volunteer fire departments.

James Overstreet smoked ten briskets on his home pit. Ofeira Gazzaway, director of the Heritage Village, provided the potato salad. About 20 men from the men's group and several of their wives helped prepare all the fixings and patriotic decorations.

Nalley welcomed all and pointed to two banners on the wall. One was a rendition of the U.S. flag in black and white with one center stripe in dark blue—the thin blue line. "All lives matter," said Nalley, "Yet Blue lives also matter." Nalley included all the first responders under that banner, for all in their varied roles put their lives on the line to help save us from crime and in emergencies. Then he pointed to the second banner that spoke for itself, "Thank You First Responders, Our Heroes," Nalley noting that all of them there and those still on patrol were "Our Heroes."

WUMC pastor Amanda Davis welcomed all, expressed her thanks for the sacrifice the responders give and welcomed any to their church who would like a place to worship.

Nalley invited Tyler County judge Jacques Blanchette to say a few words and lead the invocation. Blanchette resonated the county's thanks to all the first responders and gave a thanks to the Methodist men for hosting, then he led all in a prayer.

Entertainment came live from Carley Smith, daughter of Rodney and Stephanie Smith, a high school senior looking to attend North Texas. She sang three songs, "Oh Beautiful," "Rainy Days and Mondays," and Lee Greenwood's patriotic hit "God Bless the USA." The last raising all to their feet, some thrusting a hand in the air, the feeling true, "Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land; God bless the USA!"
After most of the first responders filed through for a prepared dish of delectable smoked brisket and trimmings, one sheriff's deputy arrived and was given a box of to-go plates for those officers and responders still on patrol.

The WUMC's Men's Breakfast Group meets every third Tuesday morning for breakfast and is open to Christian men of all denominations see WoodvilleUMC.com. The group does service projects for the church and other members and non-members in need in the community. After breakfast, they have a brief devotion and prayer.

Chester City Council welcomes Hoke Hart

 Hoke Hart was appointed by Mayor Floyd Petri to fill a vacated term at the Chester City Council meeting Monday evening, May 1.  Pictured (L-R) are Jimmy Herrington, Petri, Hart, Charlotte Barnes and Gail Williams. Hoke Hart was appointed by Mayor Floyd Petri to fill a vacated term at the Chester City Council meeting Monday evening, May 1. Pictured (L-R) are Jimmy Herrington, Petri, Hart, Charlotte Barnes and Gail Williams.

by Michael G. Maness

Hoke Hart was appointed by Mayor Floyd Petri to fill the term vacated by Vincent Incardona after an affirmative consensus of the council at their regular meeting Monday evening, May 1. After the city council was convened, a vote was taken and passed, and then Petri swore Hart in, his hand on a Bible.

Petri led all in the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags. Petri welcomed again Hart, a retired trucker and minister, and asked him to lead the invocation.

Petri welcomed Entergy Customer Service Manager Sam Bethea to the council. Bethea presented a request from Entergy for a city resolution supporting Entergy's desire to build the Montgomery County Power Station. Bethea gave a lot of information and fielded several questions. Essentially, the power station will bring a large economic benefit and insure Entergy's ability to meet future electrical demands. The MCPS will be a modern combined cycle gas turbine that will also use excess steam to increase efficiency. The $1 billion dollar economic impact will employ 750 during construction and supply 25 permanent jobs. Bethea had already secured resolutions from Colmesneil and several chambers of commerce. These will be part of a package submitted to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. If approved, the project will start in 2019, and the MCPS will become operational in 2021, generating 993 megawatts for Tyler County and several other counties. The council approved the resolution supporting Entergy's MCPS.

City secretary Annette Hickman read the minutes of the previous meeting, and they were approved. The financial statements were likewise approved.

Hickman and office assistant Charlot Thomas discussed at length the dates and penalties for being late on bills. The consensus was that the due date of the 15th was sufficient, and any bill not in by 12 midnight the evening of the 15th would incur the standard penalty. The council, as reflected by Charlotte Barnes and Hart, desired that "kindness" be the rule in the city's effort to meet the needs of the citizens and also be careful to be fair to the city's responsibilities.

Next month, Hickman will make a recommendation on the gas prices to help the city make ends meet during the winter months. The budget is thin, and they barely make enough to break even. Hickman, reflecting the desire of the council, did not want city to fall short during the winter months and stress funds allocated for other exigencies.

In the on-going effort to improve the city park, Petri was glad to announce that he will be speaking at the Chester Lions Club who wanted to help with a park project. Petri and the council were more than glad to welcome their aid. The city has a little money for supplies, and Petri will outline the city's planned projects, ready and willing to support the Lions Club. The council was so grateful, and this will allow more the scarce funds to go directly to material rather than labor.

Shoplifting arrest leads to multiple charges

by Hale Hughes

On Saturday, April 29, City of Woodville Police Officer Steven Hoke was dispatched to Wal-mart regarding a reported shop-lifting report that had originally occurred days earlier on April 23. Loss prevention personnel from the store told Hoke that a few days earlier on April 23, the female was observed taking items but left the premises before she could be identified. Hoke met with the store's loss prevention officer and was advised that the female subject was currently in the parking lot area.

Hoke located the female subject in question and made contact with her. He asked the woman about the incident that occurred on April 23. She admitted to him that she was involved. He obtained the woman's identification and identified her as Tiffany K. Sallas, age 34, of Woodville. A routine check revealed that she had an outstanding warrant of arrest from Calcasieu Parish, LA for a theft offense.

While waiting on the confirmation of the outstanding warrant, Sallas began to walk away from the situation and the officer. Hoke caught up with Sallas and a struggle ensued. Sallas continued to resist the officer as he attempted to secure her in his patrol car. Backup was called and Sargeant Borel arrived at the location and assisted. Sallas was secured and subsequently transported to the Tyler County Jail. Hoke later recovered several tablets from Sallas's purse that were concealed in an aspirin bottle. The tablets were later identified as prescription Xanax.

After arriving at the jail, Borel questioned the suspect about having additional illegal contraband on her person, which is routine police procedure. During the search of the Sallas's person by jail staff, Sallas attempted to destroy drug evidence by flushing it in a nearby toilet. Jail staff reported to the officers that Sallas became aggressive and attempted to forcibly take back the evidence away from the jail staff. Sallas continued with her aggressive behavior and assaulted the jail staff while attempting to take the evidence. Additional jail staff was summoned and they secured the suspect and the drug evidence, finally ending the high maintenance arrest.

Sallas faced multiple charges after the whole ordeal. She was formally charged with Resisting Arrest, Search or Transportation/ Possession of a Controlled Substance, PG#3 less than 28 grams/ Possession of a Controlled Substance PG#1 less than one gram/ Prohibited Substance in a Correctional Facility/ Tamper Fabricate Physical Evidence w/intent to Impair/ Assault on a Public Servant along with the outstanding warrant from Calcasieu Parish, LA. The bonds on Sallas totaled $87,500.