Suspects in Custody After Copperas Cove Man Shot & Burned
More information has come out on the burned body found in Bell County.
KWTX is reporting that two men are in custody in connection to the burned body found in Bell County September 17th.
Michael Vanlandingham, 30, was shot to death because it was thought that he was "cooperating with police." That's according to an arrest warrant affidavit released this past Thursday.
Owen Thomas Free III, also known as "Tommy Knocker", and Dana Francis Walcott were listed on the warrants in connection with the shooting.
Walcot was picked up and arrested Tuesday. Free was arrested Thursday after a news conference was held that morning.
Vanlandingham's burned body was found September 17th by firefighters after putting out a brush fire off FM 1670 near U.S. Highway 190/Interstate 14, just west of Belton.
He had been shot in the head two times.
The arrest warrant affidavit released Thursday states a resident, who lived near where the body was found, a piece of property called "the compound", told investigators that three men had come to his trailer earlier in the day on the 17th.
He new the three as Tommy, Dana and Mike, but picked out the men known as "Tommy" from a photo lineup, who turned out to be Owen Free, as well as Dana Walcott.
The man was asked by "Tommy" for his help. While he was getting dressed he heard a gunshot. The affidavit says..."He then left his trailer and walked to the back of the property where he observed male clothing on the road and smoke coming from a burn pit."
The resident told investigators he saw a human body in the burn pit, and that "Tommy" had told him they had brought Mike from a local hotel to "the compound" to kill him. They did so because they suspected he was cooperating with police.
According to the affidavit, the video obtained from the hotel where the victim was staying showed Free and Walcot escorting a man from a room whose hands appeared to restrained,
This is an horrific killing, and its scary that something you'd see in bad B-Movie could happen in our backyard, but it just proves what I was told one time.
If you think you're going to come to harm, don't get in the car. If people try to put you in the car, fight for your life. It's easier for someone to shoot you if you're in an isolated area. But, if you're in public they might just think twice about doing it. If you think you're going die, make them kill you in public, or this case, on video.