LIBERTY COUNTY — From Liberty County Sheriff’s Office – At approximately 12:18 pm on Wednesday a 911 call to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office resulted in responding deputies finding 66 year old Robert Strong, who lived just off CR 2282 in Tarkington, deceased from shotgun wounds to his head. It was initially reported by a neighbor that he heard a gunshot at approximately 1:am in the morning and when he conducted a welfare check later in the day he found Strong deceased in his bed at his residence.
The fast moving follow-up investigation was a joint effort between Sheriff’s Investigators J.R. McQueen, Mark Ellington and two Texas Rangers who interviewed witnesses and acquaintances of Strong . When checking the Sheriff’s dispatchers call for services to that particular location, it was found that a family disturbance call had been made earlier in the week involving Strong and other family members where it was alleged that Strong had threatened bodily harm to a female within the family circle.
As the day long and night investigation progressed and through information developed and evidence located, Investigators, at around midnight, eventually arrested 46 year old Craig Russel Bryant who lives near the location of the murder and 53 year old Randal Scott Dowden of the New Caney area. Both made written confessions to their part in the murder and it appears the motive for the murder was the alleged threat that Robert Strong made against the female who is the daughter of Dowden.
Both Craig Russell Bryant and Randal Scott Dowden were charged with Capital Murder and placed in the Liberty County Jail while the investigation continues.
Pct. 5, Justice of the Peace Judge Wade Brown conducted the inquest and ordered an autopsy.