Couple Accused of Killing Missing Ft. Bend County Man

Leticia Juarez KIAH

December 8, 2009

A husband and wife are accused of killing a man whose body was discovered buried outside the couple's mobile home.

Ronald James Dewars, 52 was last seen on November 17, 2009. His girlfriend reported him missing ten days later after he failed to return home or to work.

"Showed up an hour early every single day, loved to work -- talked to everybody here. I mean it was like he couldn't wait to come to work," said Joe Molina, store manager at Papa John's Pizza.

As a pizza delivery driver Dewars attracted a lot of attention with his 2007 black Shelby Mustang; it was a dream car he managed to buy with money he got from a settlement related to a work accident on another job.

"He loved that Shelby. He was out there every morning at 7 o'clock wiping down the water, drying it off, cleaning it up, shining it," said Lita Montes.

Montes has known Dewars for more than a decade, the two were close friends and roommates. She believes her friend's beloved possession was what led to his death.

"Obviously they killed him. I don't know what happened. It's sad," said Montes.

Authorities arrested Rebecca McLaughlin, Dewars' ex-girlfriend, and her husband James McLaughlin. The couple is charged with Dewars' murder.

Montes told investigators the couple contacted Dewars three weeks ago after learning he want to sell his beloved car.

"It was Jim that called saying he had a buyer up in Livingston that was offering $47,000 for the car," recalled Montes.

Dewars told Montes he was going to meet James McLaughlin to arrange the deal.

"They were to meet on Tuesday morning at the loan place; pay off the loan and go sell the car, and I never saw him after that," she said.

After ten days and no word from Dewars, his girlfriend filed a missing person's report with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Department.

"He was going to sell it in the hopes of buying a trailer or mobile home, or somewhere to retire," said Montes.

Investigators eventually found Dewars' car in front yard of the McLaughlin's mobile home with a "for sale" sign on it.

San Jacinto County District Attorney Bill Burnett said the clue that led to Dewars body came from the couple's landlord. He told authorities that McLaughlin had asked him to dig a hole to bury their Saint Bernard, which had died recently. Burnett said cadaver dogs with the Texas Department of Corrections made a positive hit for human remains on the same spot. On Saturday, a recovery team with the Texas Rangers and FBI found Dewars body.

"He didn't deserve that I don't know why they had to be so cruel about it. I don't understand it," said Monte.

An autopsy was conducted on the remains at the Jefferson County Morgue. The cause of death has not been released.

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