Bad tip sparks search for bodies at Liberty Co. home

June 8, 2011 4:59:06 AM PDT
Investigators descended on a home in rural Liberty County Tuesday after hearing there might be a mass grave on the property, only to determine hours later, there was nothing to be found there.

The tip came in Monday night, and again Tuesday morning, claiming dozens of bodies, including children, were buried on a property located 15 miles northwest of Liberty.

The report made national news and soon unnamed sources were quoted elsewhere making disturbing claims about the number of bodies buried and the conditions of their bodies.

After word got out, a quiet Liberty County road quickly became very crowded. Investigators were working off an almost unbelievable tip. It turns out; it was because it wasn't true.

"We have no indication that there are in fact any bodies located in the residence, the shed or any property here at this scene," Liberty County Sheriff's Office Capt. Rex Evans said.

But that conclusion didn't come before worried residents and dozens of members of the media descended on the rural corner of Liberty County.

"It's very shocking. Over 30 bodies they said and maybe some dismembered children, maybe -- I don't know, it's very sad," resident Paula Nugent said.

"I really don't know what's going on," resident Elmira McBride said.

Authorities say it was a tip from a woman who said she was a psychic that started all of this. She called it in Monday night to the Liberty County Sheriff's office dispatch reporting a number of bodies -- some dismembered, some children -- could be found in or around the property on County Road 2049. Officers checked it out and found nothing, but then again Tuesday, the same tip came in with more details, as if the caller was intimately familiar with what she was saying.

"That's why we proceeded with our investigation in the manner that we did," Evans said.

Liberty County Sheriff's officials summoned a cadaver dog and the FBI for assistance. A search warrant based on blood left from what we now know was an attempted suicide a few weeks ago arrived at 7:45pm Tuesday, and not even 30 minutes later, Nugent's prayer was answered, followed by introspection.

"I'm hoping it's not true. I'm praying to God that it's not true," Nugent said.

"This is Liberty County. We're not used to these kinds of stories," McNair said.

The investigation now turns to the tipster.

"The rest of it will be investigating how this person obtained this information," Evans said.

The couple who lives at the home are long-haul truck drivers who are out of town. Their daughters also live with them. Investigators are now working to track down that caller. They say they have her phone number and they believe the call came from in or around Hays County, which is just south of Austin.

This story was brought to you through our partnership with Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more about Tuesday's events, and the new investigation into the person who gave the tip in the first place, in the Cleveland Advocate.

Load Comments