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A well-known figure in the Indie film circuit and his wife were found shot to death in their Texas home.
Mike, 66, and Kay Scarlett, 68, were found on Thursday by Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies responding to calls for a welfare check at the couple’s Joshua home — about 20 miles south of Dallas — according to ABC Dallas affiliate WFAA. Deputies were called to the Don Lee Road address one day earlier, though they left after reporting nothing amiss on the scene.
“Over the past several days, family members had been calling us because they had been unable to contact the couple,” stated Johnson County Sheriff Adam King, per the Cleburne Times-Review. “Deputies went to the house twice but made no contact with anyone.”
Authorities later made entry through an open back door, finding the couple dead inside.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office determined both Mr. and Mrs. Scarlett had sustained multiple gunshot wounds from a shotgun and ruled their deaths as homicides, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
During their investigation, authorities found the couple’s truck was also missing from the Joshua home. Investigators believe a relative was responsible for the murder and used the truck to flee the scene, according to the Times-Review.
“All we can say is that he is listed as a person of interest right now,” Sheriff King stated on Friday. “We hope we can locate him soon and begin to wrap this up. We’ve had our detectives, members of the Texas Rangers and [Deputy Chief Mark Reinhardt] and Captain Danny Rogers working non-stop on this to try to figure this situation out.”
Later that day, Johnson County deputies located the Scarletts’ missing truck in the parking lot of the Texas Huguley Hospital Forth Worth South, according to the Fort Worth outlet. Inside the medical center, they found the couple’s son, Samuel Paul Scarlett, 28, and arrested him for the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, as reported by Fox Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate KDFW.
It was not immediately clear whether or not Samuel Scarlett sought medical treatment at the hospital prior to his arrest.
Although Samuel was identified as the “person of interest” in the double homicide, he has not been charged with his parents’ murders.
Sheriff King said his office is still awaiting results from evidence sent away for testing, the Cleburne Times-Review reported Wednesday afternoon.
The deaths of the Scarletts have shaken the community, particularly those in the north Texas Indie film circuit. According to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate KXAS-TV, Mike Scarlett was a writer and actor whose film, “The Cabin,” premiered on Sunday at the Rack Focus: Dallas film competition in Richardson, Texas, days after his murder.
The festival’s creator, Israel Luna, spoke to the NBC outlet, explaining he was “completely in shock” in light of the events.
“Just a very kind-hearted person, and you wouldn’t think that with his on-screen personas, because he was a filmmaker, but he was also an actor, and he always did cop roles, and he loved westerns and stuff like that,” Luna told KXAS-TV. “Yeah, very sweet guy.”
The Scarletts also shared a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, and a son, Michael, who released a short statement in response to their parents’ deaths, according to KXAS-TV.
“Right now, we are dealing with an overwhelming loss,” they stated. “We are deeply hurt and still processing this tragedy.”
Samuel Scarlett remains at the Johnson County jail on $100,000, jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com show. So far, no one has been charged with the Scarletts’ murders.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 1-817-556-6058 or submit a tip to Crime Stoppers.
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