SAN ANGELO – Authorities are investigating Michele Reiter's death as a homicide, according to a story the San Angelo Standard-Times' posted on its online edition late Friday.
According to the story, a search warrant was sworn Tuesday, the day after Reiter's body was found in a shallow grave under a bridge between Santa Anna and Valera, in Coleman County, and in the affidavit a Texas Ranger sought to search “a house and vehicles in the 1500 block of Preusser Street in San Angelo for evidence in Reiter's murder.”
The affidavit names Reiter's “former cohabitant” Lanny Marvin Bush, and Cindy Barrow (named in the affidavit as “in a romantic relationship” with Bush) as the occupants of the house.
On Sept. 19, Barrow, 50, told investigators Bush had been living with her for about two weeks. Barrow also told Texas Ranger Nick Hanna, who was questioning her, she knew Bush was using the name Rocky Switzer on Facebook to lure Reiter and his intent was to harm Reiter.
Investigators named in the affidavit are Texas Rangers Hanna and Danny Crawford, Tom Green County Sheriff's Deputy Billy Bloom, and the Brownwood Police Department.
Trace evidence including blood, hair, tissue, fibers, glass particles, gunpowder residue, ammunition and ammunition casings, firearms, other weapons of any kind and a shovel are listed as items of potential evidence in the affidavit.
The affidavit said a 1997 Ford pickup already had been taken from the Preusser Street house. Bush had identified himself as the owner of the truck, but it was last registered in Reiter's name, the affidavit said. A shovel with a broken handle was seen in the bed of the pickup.
Also found in the truck was a receipt from a store in Brownwood bearing the number of a credit-debit card belonging to Cindy Barrow. The receipt was dated Sept. 10, the last day Reiter was seen alive, and authorities determined the card had been used by Bush to purchase ammunition from a Brownwood sporting goods store, the affidavit said.
According to the Standard-Times report, Bush, 53, remained in the Tom Green County Jail Friday afternoon, charged with parole violation and online impersonation. His bond was set at $20,000. Public records show a string of criminal convictions for offenses that included burglary, motor vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, possession of a firearm by a felon and reckless driving. Bush spent time in the 1970s and 1980s in the Huntsville prison, and he has been on probation most of his life since then. The most recent offense ? reckless driving, a Class B misdemeanor ? dates from September 2005.
Reiter was last seen in Brownwood on Sept. 10, and was reported missing the next day. Her body was found two weeks later.