First Homicide Of The Year - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/3/05-Smith County

First Homicide Of The Year

The name and age of the first homicide victim of in Smith County has been released. Police found the body of 73-year-old James Edward Willis, Jr., today at an abandoned business.

That business is the Red Devil Truck Wash, just off of Joy Wright Road near I-20. That's close to the Gregg County line.

Willis has been missing since last Wednesday. Officials say the owner of the truck wash allowed Willis to live there. They say there were signs of a struggle, however, they did not give any details on the cause of death.

Some residents who work near the crime scene say they knew Willis and called him "harmless" and "friendly".

Willis' body has been sent to Dallas for autopsy. Results are expected back in the next few days. Meanwhile, officials have not named a suspect.

Reporting: Braid Sharp

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