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Liberty County man killed after allegedly being dragged behind truck, burned by son of ex-girlfriend

Suspect charged with murder
Robert Eugene Hoffpauir, 36, of Rye
Robert Eugene Hoffpauir, 36, of Rye(Liberty County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 10:44 PM CDT
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RYE, Texas (KTRE) - A man was found dead after he was tied to the back of his pickup truck and dragged, and then the truck was burned, sheriff’s investigators say.

Liberty County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested Robert Eugene Hoffpauir, 37, on Sunday evening, charging him with the murder of Roman Rodriguez, 60, of Rye, Texas.

According to Investigator Sean Mitchell, evidence at the scene of this murder and various statements made by Hoffpauir, which are still under investigation, led to the arrest. According to local news source Bluebonnet News, Rodriguez’s body was discovered when a 911 emergency call was made by a neighbor to report a fire. When firefighters arrived, they found the burned-out truck with Rodriguez’s body behind it.

Scene of investigation (Courtesy of Bluebonnet News)
Scene of investigation (Courtesy of Bluebonnet News)(BluebonnetNews.Com)

They say Rodriguez had gone to the home of Timey Ann Cole and her son, Robert Hoffpauir. When he arrived, a domestic disturbance occurred due to a former relationship Rodriguez had with Cole.

During this altercation, Rodriguez was severely beaten into submission by Robert Hoffpauir, according to investigators. He allegedly then tied a tow strap around the waist of Rodriguez and attached the other end to Rodriguez’ pick-up.

According to evidence found, investigators say it appears that Hoffpauir then dragged Rodriguez from the home for a lengthy distance down the road where the truck and Rodriguez were abandoned, just south of the Polk-Liberty county line.

The investigators say that Hoffpauir then set the truck on fire. They await autopsy results which they say will reveal if Rodriguez was deceased before he was dragged by the truck or at some point later.

Investigator Mitchell, along with the Texas Rangers, are continuing the investigation due to conflicting statements and to determine if additional charges will be filed.

Robert Eugene Hoffpauir was placed in the Liberty County jail and charged with murder. According to Bluebonnet News, he was also charged with abuse of a corpse. His bond has been set at $1 million.

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