Nacogdoches Police arrest homeless man in beating death - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches Police arrest homeless man in beating death of girlfriend

Richard MacDonald (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail) Richard MacDonald (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

Nacogdoches Police have arrested a homeless man following an investigation into a decomposed body found in a closet in February.

Richard Rodrick MacDonald, 53, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree tampering with physical evidence.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, officers with NPD responded to the call of a dead person at 1013 Douglas Rd. Officers discovered the body in the closet of the apartment, wrapped in a blanket and bound and in an "advanced state of decomposition."

Detectives were called out and collected numerous items of evidence. They learned the body was that of Carol Elaine Snider and that she had been dating MacDonald before she died. According to the affidavit, MacDonald was violent, particularly against women he dated.

Detectives found the last person known to be with Snider before she died and she said Snider and MacDonald were fighting at that time.

Detectives were able to collect a latent fingerprint, confirmed to be McDonald's in what is believed to be the victim's blood, on the closet door.

Detectives also learned Snider's credit card was not located during the search, but was used after she had died. Security footage showed MacDonald using the card.

According to the affidavit, several witnesses said MacDonald told them he was running from police and would be going to Louisiana and that he had given away items belonging to Snider after she died.

Detectives spoke to another witness, who said MacDonald admitted to arguing with Snider, beating her to death and hiding her body in the closet.

Police obtained a warrant for MacDonald's arrest on April 16. He was arrested on Tuesday. His bail is set at a collective $115,000.

According to Det. Bill Kennedy, detectives had reason to believe from the beginning that MacDonald was in New Orleans. New Orleans Police located him around Bourbon Street and arrested him without incident.

Snider was arrested by the Nacogdoches Police Department on July 14, 2012, and charged with assault causing bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor. PD officers responded to a domestic violence call at an apartment complex in the 3200 block of North Street.

MacDonald told the officers that he and his ex-girlfriend had been in a heated argument when Snider chased him to his apartment and slapped him several times in the face.

"He wasn't too good," said Snider's friend, Belinda Johnson. "I mean she was scared of him. She had told me several times that he had jumped on her and she would show me some bruises where he had jumped on her."

Snider has numerous prior arrests, but to Vida Pruitt she was a friend. Back in February her childhood friend asked for a favor.

"She asked me if I would keep a watch out on her apartment because I thought maybe she going out of town because that's what she told me, she was going out of town," Pruitt said.

"A friend of mine come around the corner and said she was getting a foul odor coming out of her apartment," Pruitt said.

"They were just trying to say she left something out, you know," Johnson said. "I told them that don't smell right."

From what Snider told neighbors she already suspected her life was in danger.

"That he was going to kill me and I'm tired of him and I wish he would go and all that," Snider said.

"She told me, 'He's going to kill me. He's going to mess around and kill me. Well I said, 'Why don't you just leave him alone. She said, 'But he don't have nowhere to go,'" Johnson said.

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