Body found buried in backyard of Dallas home sold to investor


A Dallas investor purchased a home in the Oak Cliff area hoping to flip it for nearly half a million dollars. But his plans quickly changed during the renovation process when workers discovered a black bag filled with a decaying body buried under a concrete slab in the yard, according to an investigative piece by Naheed Rajwani and Christopher Wynn in The Dallas Morning News.

The piece goes into the details behind the murder, which ties back to a complicated story between the original landlord and his tenant.

Here are a few clips from the piece. Be sure to check out the Dallas Morning News piece for the full story, along with photos and a timeline of events.

From the article:

The original homeowner, 57-year-old Ronald Shumway, hadn’t been seen in nearly five months. His tenant, an eccentric 43-year-old artist named Christopher Colbert, was also missing.

According to the article, the two met since Shumway was Colbert’s DART driver. (DART is the title of the public transportation in Dallas)

By 2014, Colbert was living rent-free in Shumway’s spare duplex unit on Winnetka and was driving Shumway’s SUV. Shumway listed Colbert as his relative on Facebook.

“Oh, who are you staying with that’s nice enough to let you use their vehicle?” asked Rhiannon Snodgrass, one of Colbert’s former neighbors from Carrollton.

While Colbert didn’t respond to a request for an interview from the Dallas Morning News, the article said he confessed to Shumway’s killing, but said he was defending himself after the older man tried to choke him while they were drinking.

So how did the house get listed for sale?

In May 2015, Colbert called an investor named Connor Steinbrook, court records state. He introduced himself as Shumway and said his mother had died recently, Steinbrook said.

“He’s signing everything as Ron, he’s coming through Ron’s email,” Steinbrook says. “I never saw an ID, but it wasn’t hard for him to actually get away with what he did.”

When the remains were found in the backyard, Steinbrook assumed it belonged to the man he’d bought the property from.

But later, when the real Shumway’s photo was shown on the news, Steinbrook realized he had been duped.

“Everybody just got blindsided by it,” Steinbrook says.

There’s much, much more to the story. Click below to read the whole thing.

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