Police: Body found in backyard is homeowner Ron Shumway

Ron Shumway
Shumway

The mystery surrounding a dead body, a missing man and a shady real estate deal appears to be solved.

The Dallas Police Department has issued an arrest warrant for a man they say posed as homeowner Ron Shumway to sell the man’s house in the Kessler/Stevens neighborhood. The police also told the Dallas Morning News that the body found buried beneath a concrete slab in the backyard of the house at 725 N. Winnetka is Ron Shumway, and they are treating his death as a homicide.

Police say 43-year-old Christopher Brian Colbert posed as Shumway to sell the man’s house. It sold for about $100,000, and the funds were sent to a bank account owned by Shumway and his late mother. Colbert used Shumway’s debit card to retrieve the funds, according to the warrant.

Sponsored Message

Police announced in October that 57-year-old Shumway, a former DART bus driver, had been missing since April 2015. We first connected his disappearance to real estate documents signed in June. We even speculated that the sale of the house might’ve been fraudulent.

Now that appears to be the case.

Colbert is wanted on felony charges of securing execution of a document by deception and tampering with a government record.

Sponsored Message

Here’s a summation of the arrest warrant, from the DMN:

Colbert contacted a broker in May for an evaluation of  Shumway’s house, according to his arrest warrant. He introduced himself as Shumway and signed a contract with the broker, agreeing to sell the house for $145,000, the warrant states.

Three days after the meeting, Colbert got in touch with the broker using Shumway’s email account and said he wanted to sell quickly, according to the warrant. The asking price was dropped to $130,000.

On June 22, when the escrow officer closing the sale asked Colbert for identification, he reportedly told her didn’t have his driver’s license with him but would fax it later. Investigators said he signed the closing documents, “Ronald D. Shumway.”

The next day, police said, Colbert faxed over a doctored version of Shumway’s license, one that had Colbert’s photo on it.

Real estate records show that someone also paid off a lien of $56,900 on the house a day before it sold. The house quickly flipped through several buyers and sellers over the summer before an investor began renovating the house for sale. He is the one who found the body.

Written By
More from Rachel Stone

#FBF: Oak Cliff predictions for 2008

What a difference 10 years makes. Back in 2008, Oak Cliff was...
Read More
  • Jancey

    Hmm… so there were 4 sales total, but only 2 of the sales transactions were listed in the MLS (I’m an agent and I checked records). What’s very odd and suspicious, is that the two sales transactions that weren’t listed in the MLS (and weren’t publicly listed for sale it would seem) were BOTH purchased by a professionals (one an agent, the other a broker) who then instantly turned around and sold it, undoubtedly for a profit! That doesn’t seem on the up and up. The buyer’s agent on the final sale was Susan Melnick, a longtime fellow OC resident and honest, experienced, respected Realtor. That is the only party that I feel confident played no part in the RE fraud and the illicit skullduggery involving the murder and imposter of the real owner. I love the excuse to use skullduggery – that word totally epitomizes this sordid “stranger than fiction” tale!

  • veux

    This is why it is important to get a Owners Title Policy at closing to protect your investment…..just incase a mistake is made at closing by the title company.

  • Unanimous_User

    How does this affect the ownership of the house? Since the original sale was fraudulent are all the other transactions null and void? Is the escrow officer in any kind of trouble? What about the Notary Public? Are they the same person?

  • Unanimous_User

    How does this affect the ownership of the house? Since the original sale was fraudulent I’m guessing all the other transactions are null and void? Is the escrow officer in any kind of trouble? What about the Notary Public or are they the same person?