2 men arrested in connection with death of missing Nacogdoches man

2 men arrested in connection with death of missing Nacogdoches man

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Two men have been arrested in connection with the death of a 20-year-old Nacogdoches man who was last heard from on April 3.

Bryan Joshua Johnson, 30, is being held in the San Augustine County Jail, and David Earl Whitehead, 31, of Nacogdoches County, is being held at the Nacogdoches County Jail. Both men have been charged with murder.

According to a press release, San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office deputies started assisting the Nacogdoches Police Department on a missing person investigation on April 5. Aaron Wayne Ainsworth was reported missing by his mother, who told authorities that her son had not been heard from since April 3.

Pictured is Aaron Ainsworth. (Source: San Augustine County Sheriff's Office)
Pictured is Aaron Ainsworth. (Source: San Augustine County Sheriff's Office) (Source: San Augustine County Sheriff's Office)

The other agencies that assisted with the investigation included the Texas Rangers, the San Augustine Police Department, the San Augustine County District Attorney’s Office, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, the Garrison Police Department, and the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office.

“Through the course of the investigation, information was discovered, and evidence was obtained that revealed Aaron Ainsworth had been murdered,” the press release stated. “Thirty-one-year-old David Earl Whitehead of Nacogdoches County and 30-year-old Bryan Joshua Johnson were developed as suspects.”

Texas Rangers and NCSO investigators interviewed Whitehead at the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office on April 7.

During the interview, Whitehead allegedly confessed that he and Johnson killed Ainsworth and left his body where the murder occurred. Whitehead said he was under the influence of narcotics at the time, and he couldn’t remember the exact location of Ainsworth’s body, the press release stated.

On April 8, Texas Rangers interviewed Johnson at the San Augustine County Sheriff’s Office. John told authorities that he and Whitehead killed Ainsworth, the press release stated. He also allegedly claimed to not remember the location because he was under the influence of drugs when the murder occurred.

On April 7 and 8, law enforcement officers from multiple agencies in Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Sabine, and Angelina counties searched for Ainsworth and the crime scene. Authorities located Ainsworth’s remains in a rural area of San Augustine County north of Bronson at about 1 p.m. on April 8.

San Augustine Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Sheila Ponder ordered an autopsy be performed on Ainsworth’s body.

“No additional information will be made public,” the press release stated.

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