RENO — Investigators believe four suspects stole property in the apartment of Nevada’s chief insurance examiner before killing him and dumping his body in a river, authorities said Sunday.
Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said all four suspects have been booked on murder charges in the death of William McCune, 62, whose blanket-wrapped, duct-tape-bound body was found Saturday.
Initially, Michael Evans, 23, and Anthony Elliot, 20, were booked on murder charges, while Raul Garcia, 22, and Makyla Blackmore, 20, were arrested on burglary charges. But Furlong said Sunday that Garcia and Blackmore were later booked on murder charges.
The suspects are from the Carson City area, he said, and the case isn’t related to McCune’s work for the state.
Investigators found evidence of a bloody, violent struggle in McCune’s apartment on Thursday, the same day he was reported missing after he failed to catch a business flight with a co-worker.
Detectives believe McCune knew two of the suspects socially, Furlong said, and the possible motive was the theft of property or money from him driven by illegal drug use. They’re still processing evidence at McCune’s apartment and trying to compile an accurate list of stolen items, he said.
“We think stealing was quite apparently the motive because they took so much from him,” Furlong said. “The mystery is if you intended on robbing and killing him, why did you have to take the body out? That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Three suspects were arrested Saturday in Las Vegas on the Strip after trying to sell a “computer item,” the sheriff said. Investigators were trying to determine whether it belonged to McCune.
Evans was taken into custody in Carson City, while authorities believe the other three suspects fled Carson City for Las Vegas after news broke of McCune’s disappearance.
All four suspects were spotted near McCune’s apartment around the time of his disappearance, and businesses frequented by the suspects provided important tips that led to their arrests, Furlong said.
He declined to elaborate.
Authorities were unsure how long two of the suspects and McCune knew each other or how they met.
It wasn’t clear Sunday whether any of the four had an attorney, and the Las Vegas and Carson City jails don’t make new inmates available to the media for comment. The three suspects in Las Vegas are expected to be returned to Carson City within a week.
McCune had held his position since December 2009 and worked similar jobs for two decades before that. As head of the division’s corporate and financial affairs section, McCune worked to ensure the solvency of insurance companies in the state.
He was charged with ensuring each company had sufficient money in their reserves to cover all claims and obligations.
McCune was single and without any known children, Furlong said, and there was no forced entry at his home.
Investigators believe the body found in the Carson River on Saturday was that of McCune, even though a positive identification and cause of death are not expected to be officially established by the Washoe County medical examiner’s office until later this week, he said.
There was no indication yet of the weapon or weapons involved in the death, he added, but investigators would have a better idea after autopsy results are released.
While authorities have not found McCune’s pickup, they located its license plates Friday night at a Carson City residence that Evans was known to have frequented, the sheriff said.
Investigators do not expect any additional arrests in the case. “We believe all the people involved have been taken into custody,” Furlong said.