ALMA, Texas — Authorities have identified the human remains found in July just outside of the Ennis city limits and made an arrest connected to the murder of a 21-year-old female.
Dental records show the remains found July 15 in Alma to be those of Tia Marie Spearman, formerly of Lawton, Oklahoma, who had been living in Little Elm with her boyfriend, Guy Wayne Lynch. Little Elm Police arrested Lynch, originally of Aubrey, Texas, after investigators discovered corroborating evidence linking him to the murder. He was then transported to the Denton County Sheriff’s Office for arraignment and has had a bond set at $1 million.
Department records show Lynch was booked into the Denton County jail on Wednesday.
“On Aug. 14 at approximately 10:30 a.m. the Ellis County Criminal Investigations [Department] was contacted by Lancaster Police Department regarding a missing person,” Ellis County Sheriff’s PIO Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald said. “The missing person was identified as Tia Marie Spearman, an African American female, [who was] 21 years of age."
Fitzgerald stated the Biloxi (Mississippi) Police Department first contacted the Lancaster Police Department after receiving information that Spearman may have gone missing from Biloxi around June.
“Ms. Spearman’s family had not heard from her since May 2017. Biloxi Police Department Investigations Division discovered Ms. Spearman had an associated address in the city of Lancaster,” Fitzgerald said. “As a result, Lancaster Police Investigators contacted Ellis County Investigators knowing the ongoing investigation of the unidentified human remains found in Ellis County.”
Ellis County Investigators spoke with Spearman’s family and obtained dental records. Those records were sent to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification for comparison. The records were a match.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, Fitzgerald stated that Spearman's cause of death is still being determined at this time, but it is a homicide. Investigators are working to determine where Spearman was killed.
“We had enough probable cause signed by the justice of the peace to issue an arrest warrant for him, which we did,” Fitzgerald stated. “The suspect was taken into custody yesterday (Wednesday) evening once he was located. The arrest took place and he was interviewed.”
Fitzgerald added that Lynch has been transported back to Ellis County and has requested an attorney. He noted that investigators have not determined a motive at this time.
Fitzgerald also stated that the family knew Lynch was Spearman’s boyfriend.
When asked if there were any other suspects and what Lynch’s tie to the area was, Fitzgerald responded stating that, “the investigation is still on going at this time.” He added that many search warrants are being procured and documents on reports from the residence in Little Elm are being obtained.
Fitzgerald credits the hard work of investigators and surrounding law enforcement agencies to bring the case to where it is today.
“The parameters were vague. We knew that she had been out there two to three weeks to six months. Countless hours and phone calls were made to surrounding agencies not only in Texas but out of state as well trying to get this person identified,” Fitzgerald said. “If it was not for the Biloxi Police Department taking the initiative and doing a little of background and research in locating the tie to the city of Lancaster we would not be where we are today.”