Palestine police are investigating the death of a person found in a home in the 100 block of Longhorn Drive Monday as a homicide.
Police have identified the victim as 81-year-old John Jerome Ferles of Palestine. TylerPaper.com reporter Kenneth Dean spoke exclusively to Ferles' stepson, Mike Fehrle, today. See the video on this page.
Police responded Monday to the home on a welfare call. When they arrived, police found the back door to the residence unsecure. Officers entered the home and found a person deceased inside the residence. Neither the victim's name nor gender was released this morning in a prepared statement by police.
Police spoke with the victim's neighbors and learned that the person had not been seen in several days. It was also learned that the victim's car was missing from the residence. Police have located the victim's vehicle, a 2004 Chevy Impala with Texas license plate # 6ND-CJ. The car was recovered and is being stored at an undisclosed East Texas wrecker facility.
The victim was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace James Todd, and the body was transported to the Medical Examiner's Office in Tyler for an autopsy. The results will not be released for up to 60 days.
Police have talked with several people in the neighborhood and are continuing to follow up several investigative leads at this time.
The Palestine PD is being assisted in the homicide investigation by members of the Texas Rangers.
Anyone with information concerning this or any other case is asked to call the Palestine Police Department at 903-729-2254 or CRIMES STOPPERS at 903-729-(TIPS) 8477.