Sheriff's Department Returns to Site of Human Remains

LIBERTY, April 29, 2014 - Today, April 29, 2014 at approximately 8:am, Liberty County Sheriff Department’s Lead Investigator, Sgt. Brian Bortz along with Deputy Constable Mark Davison and several other Deputies, returned to the scene of yesterday’s discovery of an unidentified body found wrapped in a tarp at 26385 Hwy. 146 in North Liberty County. Due to several Pit Bull dogs housed in one room of the home at that location, it was not possible to conduct a complete search of the residence last night and due to darkness, it was not possible to conduct a complete search of the outside area surrounding the scene. Today, the area surrounding the home and the 14’ X 30’ metal portable building that served as a barn for the arrested subject, Billy Ray Bennett, was searched. In addition, the seven Pit Bull dogs and six puppies that were locked inside a back room of the home were turned over to a Houston SPCA unit which then provided an opportunity for a complete search of the home. During yesterday’s search of the portable barn building, a deceased dog was also found in the building and in a state of advanced decomposition. The reason for keeping a deceased dog in the same building as the human remains can only be speculation.

According to the preliminary autopsy results, it was confirmed the human remains were that of a female but age, height, weight has not been established at this time. Also, no DNA nor toxicology report has been returned which normally takes several weeks to get back to the investigating agency.

During the ongoing investigation and further interview with Billy Ray Bennett, Sgt. Bortz said that Bennett did give him a name of the female friend who was visiting him at the time of her death but due to unconfirmed statements of Bennett, the name is not being released until confirmation through DNA and notification of relatives who live out of town can be done.

Sgt. Bortz stressed that until CONFIRMED autopsy results are received, it will not be possible to confirm identity or cause of death of the female remains and that after further investigation, it is possible additional charges will be filed against Billy Ray Bennett.

See related story... Human Body Found in Barn

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