Disappearance Solved

Neighbors noted that retired 63 year old Russell Ray hadn’t been the one to care for his lawn this year. They say that especially stood out because Ray enjoyed gardening and liked to do his own lawn work.

Even though he was retired, he had often dropped into the store he used to manage, and co workers there noted that he hadn’t been in for a while. When they attempted to call him Ray’s wife, 52 year old Janet Ray told them he had gone fishing.

The last anyone can remember seeing Russell Ray was in April. But he wasn’t reported missing until July 13, when friends and family became concerned over his continued absence.

Police talked to Janet Ray and she indicated to them that she had talked with Russell Ray by telephone on Monday night. On Wednesday police did a search of the Ray property to look for clues to Russell Ray’s disappearance. Police say there was a suspicion of foul play, but they never expected what they found.

About 9:30 pm they found Russell Ray’s badly decomposed body in a garbage can in the back of a pickup truck parked about 75 to 100 feet from the home. They say that though the truck was parked some distance from the home, it was in running condition and appeared to have been there a while. Police believe that Ray was shot with a handgun inside one of the horse barns on the property.

On Thursday police went to the beauty shop owned and operated by Janet Ray, with a search warrant. Janet Ray has been described as “colorful” and outgoing. Some noted that Russell and Janet Ray’s relationship appeared rocky at times, but they thought it was normal marital discord. However, police have said that about a year ago, Russell Ray went to police and filed forgery charges against his wife, alleging that she was signing his checks. Later he asked that the charges be dropped and the couple remained together.

An autopsy is being done to help pinpoint an approximate date of death, but at this time police are guessing that he died 2-3 months ago.

Janet Ray was at the property when the warrant was served, and was arrested for the murder. A motive for the murder has not been determined as yet and the investigation is continuing.

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/15086445.htm

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/15083062.htm

When it came time for lawn care, I wonder what her thoughts and feelings were when she had to hire someone to do the lawn care.

And when friends and relatives called to inquire about Russell Ray, I wonder if she felt more anger about the calls or if she felt regret at that time. I wonder if she ever considered how those people would react, if they knew what she knew?

But most of all, I have to wonder what her thoughts were when she would catch a glimpse of that truck sitting on the property, and only she knew what was in it.

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Lengthy Tactical Operation

On Wednesday his girlfriend alleges that Michael Alan Wesley, 28, threatened her with a firearm. At some point she was able to escape and call 911. 

With Wesley thought to be barricaded in the home, deputies underwent a “lengthy tactical operation” lasting about 5 hours involving robots, canine units, smoke canisters, and an armored personnel carriers. But by the time a SWAT unit entered the home, Wesley had already escaped. Deputies believe that he managed to escape before law enforcement arrived.

Deputies say that in the home they found the computer and TV destroyed, and a wall damaged as well as the girlfriends clothing had been burned. And a rifle was found in the home.

Deputies attempted to call Wesley on his cell phone but he has refused to surrender. He is thought to be armed and deputies say he has a long arrest record. When police locate him, he will be charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, domestic violence, and battery domestic violence.

http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060803/NEWS01/608030325/1006

As long as Wesley is on the run, the girlfriend cannot be sure of her safety. You would think that with the police on the lookout for him, that he would be too busy with an escape to think of going after her. But that is often not the case. The property damage at the home sounds like a very angry man. But the burning of the girl’s clothing, well to me it seems very personal in the anger at the girlfriend. Almost like burning her in effigy, since he couldn’t get his hands on her.