Jasper County Sheriff Mitchel Newman is investigating the discovery of a body on the southmost shore of nearby Lake Sam Rayburn.
Newman said officers were called to the area of shoreline behind the U.S. Army Corps Engineers Building, on Recreational Road 255, shortly after 3:00, on Monday afternoon, when it was reported that two workers from the corps had located the body.
Newman and others believe the body to be that of a 49 year old Cecil Sells of Arlington, who has been missing for several days.
Officers say a search for Sells, who is a former resident of Jasper, began on the evening of January 6th, shortly after fire destroyed a 2007 Nissan Maxima belonging to him, while it was parked adjacent to the dam, only a few hundred feet from where his body was found.
Newman said emergency dispatchers received a call on that evening from someone who had stopped at a nearby restroom in the park and saw that the car was on fire.
Firemen were dispatched to the scene, but the vehicle was a complete loss and was destroyed to the point that nothing could be identified.
Investigators who later spoke with a family member were reportedly told that Sells was suicidal and that he was talking about walking out into the lake.
Newman said officers searched the area, but did not find any sign of Sells or anything that would indicate that he had actually went into the water.
Newman said that there was no immediate evidence as to how Sells died and that there were no obvious injuries.
Whether Sells killed himself or whether it is a case of homicide is the question that officers hope to answer as they continue to investigate the incident.
Newman said Sell’s body was taken to Stringer and Griffin Funeral Home here in Jasper and that arrangements were being made to transport it to Nederland, where an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.