RENO, Nev. (AP) — A body believed to be that of Nevada’s missing chief insurance examiner was found wrapped in a blanket and bound with duct tape Saturday in a river in Carson City, and four suspects were arrested in the case, authorities said.
Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said that while a positive identification and cause of death have not been officially established, investigators believe the body found by searchers in the Carson River is that of William McCune, who disappeared earlier this week.
Authorities suspected foul play after finding evidence Thursday of a bloody, violent struggle in McCune’s apartment in Carson City. Deputies were called to the apartment after the 62-year-old McCune failed to board a flight with a co-worker and other employees found no sign of him when they went to his residence.
All four suspects are from the Carson City area, Furlong said, but detectives were unsure of their relationship to McCune or the motive for the slaying.
Still, investigators continue to believe McCune’s death concerned “personal” matters and was not work-related, the sheriff said. He declined to elaborate.
Michael Evans, 23, and Anthony Elliot, 20, were booked on murder charges, while Raul Garcia, 22, and Makyla Blackmore, 20, were arrested on burglary charges.
Evans was taken into custody in Carson City, while the others were arrested Saturday morning on the Las Vegas Strip. Furlong believes the latter three fled Carson City on Friday after news broke of McCune’s disappearance.
“At this point, we believe all four took part in his murder and disappearance,” Furlong told The Associated Press. “We anticipate that the district attorney’s office will amend the criminal complaint to also charge (Garcia and Blackmore) with murder.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the four had an attorney, and the Las Vegas and Carson City jails don’t make new inmates available to the media for comment. The three suspects in Las Vegas are expected to be returned to Carson City within a week, Furlong said.
McCune had held his position since December 2009 and worked similar jobs for two decades before that, said Nevada Division of Insurance spokesman Jake Sunderland.
As head of the division’s corporate and financial affairs section, McCune worked to ensure the solvency of insurance companies in the state. He was charged with ensuring each company had sufficient money in their reserves to cover all claims and obligations.
McCune was single and without any known children, Furlong said, and there was no forced entry at his home.
The sheriff said the suspects were spotted in the area of McCune’s apartment. He credited their arrests to “relentless” detective work and “some great tips from a lot of people and a lot of businesses.”
While authorities have not found McCune’s pickup truck, they located its license plates Friday night at a Carson City residence that Evans was known to have frequented, the sheriff said.
“We’re still searching for the truck, but it’s unlicensed,” Furlong said. McCune’s car was found Thursday at a nearby apartment complex.
Investigators continued to process evidence at McCune’s home Saturday, and there was no indication yet of the weapon or weapons involved in the death.
“We haven’t finished interviews and work at the scene to substantiate theories about a motive,” Furlong said. “We’re still processing the house and coming up with many alternatives.”
The sheriff’s search and rescue team found the body. An autopsy was performed Saturday by the Washoe County medical examiner’s office, which will make a positive identification and rule on the cause of death.
Carson City, Nevada’s capital, is a jumping-off point 30 miles south of Reno for travelers headed to Lake Tahoe or back to California across the Sierra. It has a population of about 50,000.
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