Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2004

Bodies recovered on farm near Luray

Drug-related search revealed remains

April 1, 2004


— A man and woman were found dead Tuesday at a vacant farmstead eight miles southwest of Luray when authorities were executing a drug-related search warrant.

No new information was released on the case Wednesday, except that officials confirmed the victims were not from Russell County. The bodies were taken to Topeka for autopsies.

The Russell County Sheriff's Office referred all calls to Whitney Watson, spokesman for Kansas Atty. Gen. Phill Kline.

Tuesday, officers with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Sheriff's Office took evidence and removed a white Dodge pickup with a Mississippi license plate that was parked inside a farm shed. The truck was towed to the Sheriff's Office in Russell.

Bob Zweifel is the closest neighbor to the scene, living a quarter-mile south. Zweifel has lived there for 30 years and said he had seen the authorities haul off pickups parked on the property before.

He said a man that lived there more than a year ago had been visited by authorities on drug-related issues. A younger woman and her two children lived on the farm after that and moved last spring, he said.

The farm is owned by Rex Gillett, of Russell. His nephew, Van Mullender, stores farm equipment in the shed where the pickup was found.

"I hadn't seen it before," Mullender said of the pickup. "When they asked me what was mine in the shed, I didn't know anything about any pickup. I had never seen it."

Law enforcement has not confirmed reports that the bodies were found inside a freezer at the farm. Mullender said he didn't have a freezer on the premises.

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