A report Tyler County Sheriff's office was investigating as a missing person case turned into a murder investigation last week when family members of Alvin William Cowan told Chief Deputy Trisher Ford that he was not in Tennesee working out of state as originally reported.
According to a release from TCSO, family members were told August 2 by a family member who was a "person of interest" in the case that there had been an altercation between he and the victim about six weeks ago. Leonard Anthony Cowan told the other family members that he had hit the victim on the head and that he was dead. He went on to tell them that he had buried the victim in the back yard of the residence.
Chief Deputy Trisher Ford, Deputy Chuck Marshall, Deputy Tony Reynolds, St. A Sturrock and Chief Administrator Clint Sturrock responded to the residence in the White Tail Ridge community in Tyler County and searched the garden area of the back yard. They found a freshly dug site with a strong odor. The burial site had been covered with corn stalks and long couch cushions. They found human skeletal remains at the location.
Tyler County Justice of the Peace Bryan Weatherford was notified, and held an inquest on the victim, ruling the death a homicide and ordering an autopsy be performed on the victim. The autopsy was performed Friday, August 3, at Forensic Medical Management Services in Beaumont with Sgt. A Sturrock in attendance.
DNA was collected from the victim during the autopsy and DNA collected from a family member for comparison and the DNA samples sent to a lab in Brandon, Mississippi. The test should be compete this week.
Leonard Anthony Cowan was arrested and taken to Tyler County jail without incident, and after further investigation, was charged with the murder of Alvin William Cowan and booked into the jail.
Cowan was charged with murder and placed under a $350,000 bond by Judge Weatherford.
The Tyler County Sheriff's Office case is still active and under investigation at press time by Sgt. A. Sturrock.