Dallas Police Charge Man with Murdering Friend and Burying Him in His Own Backyard

The house where Ronald Shumway's corpse was found.
The house where Ronald Shumway's corpse was found.
© 2016 Google

Dallas police on Monday charged Christopher Colbert with the murder of Ronald Shumway, whose body was found encased in cement in the backyard of his former home in Oak Cliff last September. His body was identified in February, following its discovery by Frederik Robertson, the current owner of Shumway's former house.

During an interview conducted in Los Angeles earlier this month, Colbert told police that he killed Shumway, concealed the body in cement purchased at an Oak Cliff Home Depot and then impersonated Shumway so he could sell the house to Robertson. Colbert made $109,000 from the sale, according to DPD.

Colbert told police he didn't set out to kill his his friend. Shumway was drunk on April 23, 2015, Colbert said, and the two began to argue. As the argument escalated, Colbert said, he feared for his life, believing that Shumway would tie him up and kill him. The two began choking one another and Colbert killed Shumway. It was, Colbert says, self defense, but DPD says evidence found at the house points to Colbert having tied Shumway up before he killed him.

After Shumway's death, police say, Colbert went to the Home Depot located on the old Bronco Bowl site in North Oak Cliff. he bought two bags of cement, wrapped it in a plastic sheet and put the body in the cement. In the coming days, Colbert impersonated Shumway and sold his house.

Through Chicago Title, Colbert made a quick sale, police say, and had the $109,000 deposited into Shumway's bank account before Colbert withdrew it all using Shumway's debit card. When the title company needed identification to complete the sale, Colbert just superimposed his photo onto Shumway's ID and faxed it over.

Colbert is being held in Los Angeles, awaiting extradition to Dallas County.


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