San Augustine Co. authorities hoping surveillance video will help ID murder suspect

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Investigators with the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office are hoping that surveillance video will help them catch the suspect in the March 17 murder of 62-year-old Kavy Neil Sowell.

On the evening of March 17, fire fighters responded to a house fire in the 200 block of County Road 3200. When the firefighters got the fire under control, they found Sowell's body inside the home. Further investigation revealed that Sowell had been shot in the back of the head three times before his house was set on fire.

Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham with the San Augustine County Sheriff's Office has been working around the clock to get answers.

"We don't simply suspect; we know that Neil Sowell was murdered," Cunningham said.

In the surveillance video, a tall white male is seen walking towards Sowell's trailer home around 8:42 p.m. Minutes later, the same individual was seen walking away from Sowell's residence.

Cunningham said the timeline of events of the person shown in the video matches up with the time Sowell was shot.

"The person seen walking towards his home is walking at first in a slow normal pace, and when you see him leaving 10 minutes later, he isn't wearing a hat, and he is walking in a faster pace," Cunningham said.

Approximately an hour later, firefighters responded to a fire at the Sowell's home. Investigators believe the blaze was set to cover up the murder.

San Augustine resident Don Sanford said he just can't believe something like this could happen in his back yard, let alone to his good friend of 20 years.

"If you needed help, he would help you," Sandford said.

Sandford said everyone in the area loved Sowell.

If you have any information about this case. authorities are asking for you to please call the Crime Stoppers hotline at (936) 639- TIPS.

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