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Second arrest made from December murder

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From Enterprise Staff

ThorThorLaw enforcement made an additional arrest last week following an extensive homicide investigation of a murder occurring in early December of 2023 off Duff Road.

On Dec. 28, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives, with assistance from the Texas Rangers, obtained an arrest warrant for Shawn Anthony Thor, 24, of Livingston, on the charge of murder.

Thor was arrested without incident and booked into the Polk County Jail, with a bond of $250,000.

Last month, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call of an unresponsive man lying in a driveway in the 2800 block of Duff Road. Deputies later arrived on scene to find a deceased male subject lying in a private driveway.

Detectives also arrived on scene and began investigating the incident, which was quickly determined to be a murder. The victim was identified as Timothy Jacob Neal, 29, of Livingston.

Through the course of the investigation, suspects were located and transported to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Toby Wayne Ford, 24, of Livingston, was booked into the Polk County Jail on a charge of murder. 

Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons contacted the local Texas Ranger, the Polk County Criminal District Attorney’s Office and Livingston Volunteer Fire Department, who all responded to assist the sheriff’s office in the investigation.

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Livingston man murdered, remains recovered

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LivingstonManMurderedA Point Blank man has been charged with capital murder and burglary of a habitation after a standoff with authorities Thursday.

Tyler Lance Williams, 30, is in the Polk County Jail on two bonds totaling $1.1 million. In a Saturday press conference, Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons said the investigation began Dec. 23 and spanned over three counties. With the help of the Montgomery County SWAT team, law enforcement was able to apprehend Williams.“We were certainly hoping for a better outcome, but this (Saturday) morning, we are here to update the public, to let them know that, unfortunately, we were not able to find our missing person, William McLain, alive,” Lyons said. “He is deceased. Our investigation had started as a burglary, and then arson, and is now growing into a capital murder case.”Lyons said other individuals are also “being looked into” and Williams’ charges have indeed been upgraded to capital murder. Williams also has a burglary charge, and it is expected that list will grow.

McLain’s remains were sent to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office for a toxicity report. Law enforcement is still waiting for official word on how McLain was murdered. Williams and McLain were said to be associates and friends that had known each other for a short period of time. Any sort of motive is still being pieced together. Polk County Detective Craig Finegan said there are suspicions at this time that his office is attempting to verify.

“This thing all started initially as a house fire,” Lyons explained in the press conference. “It was basically a house fire that was reported to us, and the guys (law enforcement) went out thinking this was a basic house fire. Then, we received a missing persons report from the neighbors that they had not seen the owner, which was William McLain. They had not seen or heard from him at that time, which would have been about (Dec.) the 24th. From that, it just evolved through investigative means. It just kept evolving into more, when we received information in reference to a burglary. The property had been burglarized before the fire.”The sheriff said there were concerns that began after the missing persons report, when a witness came forward with information. Williams was tracked to the mobile home of a friend on St. Lucia Lane in the Holiday Villages subdivision in Point Blank. There, a standoff lasting hours was ended in his arrest.The investigation spanned three counties, with the murder occurring in Polk County, remains transported to Liberty County, then a standoff in San Jacinto County. McLain’s home at 167 Switcher in Lake Livingston Estates was burglarized then set ablaze. A female said to be present, Jessy Erin Reeves, 33, of Onalaska, is currently incarcerated in the Polk County Jail for burglary of a habitation with a bond set at $50,000. A second female arrested Tuesday afternoon, Loretta Naomi Hardin, 29, of Onalaska, was booked on burglary of habitation and possession of a controlled substance charges.

The victim’s remains were recovered by the Harris County Marine Division in Horseshoe Lake Estates, a subdivision in Liberty County near the Trinity River and town of Romayor.

“We received information that the remains could possibly be located in the river in a specific area of Horseshoe Lake Estates,” Finegan said. “The dive team performed a two-day search and recovered a body Friday morning.”

The investigation is not complete, but Lyons acknowledged the assistance of the Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Public Safety, Onalaska Police Department, Polk County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County SWAT, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, and Harris County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division.The sheriff said law enforcement is not actively looking for other individuals at this time, and that the public should feel safe knowing that there is no one else involved.

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Fatal shooting in Kickapoo Marina

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From Enterprise Staff

One man is dead and two others are wounded after a shooting near the lake Tuesday night.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received calls around 11:25 p.m. in reference to a shooting at a residence in the Kickapoo Marina Subdivision of Polk County. 
Deputies and detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to the location, with assistance from the Onalaska Police Department.
Once on the scene, deputies located one deceased male subject and two other male subjects suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The two subjects were air lifted due to their injuries.
The Texas Rangers Office and the Polk County District Attorney’s Office responded to the scene to provide additional assistance to the sheriff’s office.
Detectives are currently working this investigation and there is said to be no immediate danger to the public or residents of the area.
Polk County Sheriff Byron Lyons is asking anyone with information related to this incident to contact Lieutenant Craig Finegan with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 936-327-6810. An anonymous tip may be submitted atp3tips.com, the P3 App, or by calling Polk County Crime Stoppers (http://polkcountycs.org/) at 936-327-STOP, where tipsters can remain anonymous and may collect a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.
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LPD asks assistance in locating persons of interest

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The Livingston Police Department is investigating two separate thefts that occurred at local businesses. 

The subject in the photos above is a person of interest in an investigation. Those who recognize the person or the vehicle are asked to contact the Livingston Police Department at 936-327-3117 in reference to case number 231209262.

LPD is also investigating a separate theft suspected of involving a male and female in the photographs. Those with information on the location of these individuals are asked to contact the Livingston Police Department and reference case number 231108971.

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Gazebo Nature Preserve at Lake Livingston Dam to host two public events

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WaterBirdsWading and water birds love the warmer water coming from the Hydroelectric plant right next to the Gazebo Nature Preserve. Courtesy photo

The 2023 Christmas Bird Count and a Gazebo Guided Walk

From Enterprise Staff

Local birders and bird lovers are invited to join Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count at any time Saturday at the Gazebo Nature Preserve at Lake Livingston Dam next to Trinity River Authority off FM 1988. For serious bird watchers and Texas Master Naturalists, the 23-day Christmas Bird Count which runs from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 is already on the calendar. Members of Piney Wood Lakes Chapter Texas Master Naturalists (PWLCTMN) will be counting the seven regions within Polk County from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. the same day.

Those wanting to participate should contact Piney Wood Lake’s Christmas Bird Count Compiler Ann Turney at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up and get more information on how to enter their submissions for inclusion in the chapter’s submission to Audubon. Submission requirements include location, bird name, number seen and time of day.

The Christmas Bird Count is one of the world’s oldest and longest-running citizen science efforts. The count is organized into circles, and birders in each circle count as many birds as possible on one day, either on a predetermined route, or at their backyard bird feeder. Compiled data is used to learn about long-term bird trends and included in many reports and publications, such as the “State of the Birds Report” by Audubon Society.

Master Naturalists are restoring the native landscape along the Trinity River for birding and being present.

If you take a walk around the Gazebo Nature Preserve at Lake Livingston Dam just south of Trinity River Authority, you’ll need some imagination to see what is coming. Within a few years pine savannah with grasslands will be alive with wildlife, native pollinator areas aflutter with birds, bees and butterflies, and a thriving marsh area with native bulrushes creating a nurturing riparian zone. These areas and more are evolving on the 30-acre tract long-term project of Piney Wood Lakes Chapter Texas Master Naturalists.

During the planning of the R.C. Thomas Hydroelectric Project built by East Texas Electric Coop next to Lake Livingston Dam, Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy, a founding member of PWLCTMN, negotiated for the land used by the contractors for staging to be returned to the chapter to oversee the development of a nature preserve.

PWLCTMN received the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lone Star Bird Award Conservation Grant of $5,000 at the conclusion of the 2022’s Great Texas Bird Classic. The application was submitted by one of the chapter’s newest interns to fund a class project, building a bird viewing tower overlooking the dam which should be completed in the new year.

Once the name of the preserve was finalized, a logo was designed by a PWLCTMN member and will soon appear on a large road sign just off FM 1988, flyers and online communication. A Gazebo Nature Preserve section is already live on the PWLCTMN website and Facebook and Instagram pages will be added soon.

Spring 2023 was ablaze with native wildflowers, year-round bird residents and a variety of surprising migrants. Throughout the Gazebo Nature Preserve field birds, bees, butterflies and moths can be seen feasting on seed and nectar provided by seasonal native wildflowers. Deer, coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, birds, other mammals and rodents are regularly spotted either physically, on wildlife cameras, or by their tracks.

Visit the Gazebo Nature Preserve to take some laps on the quarter-mile pollinator loop, sit on a bench and meditate or just be present, bird-watch or volunteer. Come early or near dark. Visit the name-sake gazebo built by the developers. The gates open at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. There is no water available, so bring your own and be mindful of the weather. For more information about Gazebo Nature Preserve @ Lake Livingston Dam, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit PWLCTMN online at txmn.org/pineywoodlakes.

The second event this month at the Gazebo Nature Preserve is an opportunity to get your steps in after Christmas on Dec. 29. Why wait for Jan. 1 to start your News Year’s resolution for better health? Join the Piney Wood Lakes Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist at the Gazebo Nature Preserve, to get a jump start on a healthier New Year. A Gazebo Guided Walk is slated for 10-11 a.m. Dec. 29 at the Gazebo Nature Preserve at Lake Livingston Dam which is located at Recreation Rd. 5 off FM 1988 next to Trinity River Authority.

For both events, bring water, binoculars and cameras and experience an evolving multi-ecosystem preserve right here in Polk County.


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