|Two held in connection with Mt. Vernon shooting death
Bed and breakfast owner found dead at residence Wednesday night
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
Two people were arrested in Dallas Thursday after they were found in a pickup belonging to a Mount Vernon bed and breakfast owner found dead of multiple gunshot wounds earlier this week.
Mark Aaron Rains and Narada Newman were arrested by Dallas police Thursday after they were found driving a pickup truck belonging to Robert Whiteside, who was found dead in his residence about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
According to Franklin County Sheriff Chuck White, the victim's credit cards and wallet were found among the items in his truck when Newman and Rains were arrested.
A warrant has been issued for another suspect in the apparent murder of Veranda Bed and Breakfast owner Whiteside, but the suspect has not yet been arrested. A third suspect is being sought for questioning regarding the case, according to District Attorney Martin Braddy.
Franklin County authorities were quick to issue a bulletin to law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the pickup after Whiteside's body was found. Braddy said that quick response, coupled with information received by Texas Ranger Steve Boyd and Dallas police of attempts to use the credit cards led to the arrest of Rains and Newman.
A laptop computer stolen from Whiteside's residence, where he was found around 10 p.m. Wednesday by a friend, was also among the items recovered with the truck.
Investigators have received information that Whiteside probably died between late Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon, but are awaiting autopsy reports to determine the cause and time of death.
Authorities are also still trying to figure out the motive behind the shooting and if other items were stolen, particularly the "high-end" jewelry Whiteside made and displayed at a shop on the inn grounds.
Police were also trying to figure out what connection, if any, that Newman had to the crimes, as he was not from Mount Vernon nor thought to have any dealings there.
"This is a pretty bad scenario. There is potential for a lot of different motives, but we have reached no conclusions yet," Braddy said.
The businessman is known for his artistry and craftsmanship as a jeweler, having had pieces commissioned by presidents of three countries, as well as prime ministers, princes, queens and wives of chancellors. Whiteside's pieces ranged pricey display eggs to rings, bands, necklaces and other pieces valued between $100 and $50,000 per item, according to the inn web site.
No murder charges had been filed as of 10:30 a.m. Friday, but the district attorney said that could change should the ongoing investigation turn up information implicating any suspects.