Son of slain Kaufman DA: 'They will find them'

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 8 at 10:20 PM

KAUFMAN — J.R. McLelland, whose parents were murdered at their Forney home more than a week ago, says he is confident law enforcement will catch whoever is responsible for murdering his parents.

“We're not angry that it's been a week and they haven't caught anybody,” McLelland said. “It might be tomorrow or a year from now, but we're confident they will find them.”

The eldest son of Kaufman County's first-term district attorney Mike McLelland disputes reports his family is upset with the seemingly slow pace of the investigation. No one has been arrested for the murders, and investigators have not indicated they are looking for any particular suspect.

“It's been said we don't think they're doing enough," McLelland said. "I don't think there is anything more they can do."

McLelland’s statements are among the first he has made publicly since his 63-year-old father 65-year-old mother, Cynthia.

They were found shot and killed in their Forney home on March 30. Their murders came nearly two months after McLelland’s top deputy, Mark Hasse, was killed in the town square on January 31.

More than a week after the most recent slayings, investigators have yet to officially connect the killings.

Over the weekend, Chris Heisler, founder of The Honor Network, identified himself as a family spokesman and said members of Cynthia McLelland’s family were “furious” with the investigation.

The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office later released a statement denying that Heisler represents the family, calling his words “inaccurate and unauthorized.”

Heisler has been in contact with family members through memorials and tributes he has helped organize. He responded with documentation proving, he says, that Cynthia McLelland’s children authorized him to speak on their behalf.

Mike and Cynthia McLelland were married for 28 years, but don’t have any children together. They each have kids from previous marriages.

McLelland’s son wanted to be clear his family supports the investigators.

“The law enforcement agencies have gone above and beyond to figure out who is doing this,” he said.

A $200,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to an arrest. After Hasse’s death, McLelland said his father never expressed any fear for his safety, but that he did worry about his staff.

“He was afraid for his people; he wasn't afraid for himself,” McLelland said. “He wasn't afraid of anything. He was a stand-up individual. He did his job.”

McLelland said his father was a gun enthusiast and occasionally enjoyed visiting gun stores. On the afternoon of Friday, March 29 — just hours before he and his wife were killed — Mike McLelland stopped to browse firearms at a Forney shop.

“He didn't go to a gun store just because Mark got murdered,” J.R. McLelland said. “He went to every gun show in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And if they saw him in a gun shop it's because he had been there before.”

On Friday, hundreds attended the McLelland funeral in Wortham. Friends described the couple as inseparable and deeply in love.

“They were together all the time and they just knew what they wanted to do. They were happy with life,” their son said. “The one small thing we can take from this is that they went together, because that's how they lived.”

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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