The 28-year-old suspect in a Grandfalls double homicide that rocked the small community was found dead in his jail cell Thursday morning, but no one is saying how he died.
Rodney Wayne Crawford was found dead in his jail cell around 6 a.m. Thursday, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said. The Texas Rangers were asked by the Ward County Sheriff’s Office to investigate and the Rangers are calling it a “questionable death.”
“All the Rangers can say is we were asked to investigate after they found the individual,” Vinger said.
Ward County Sheriff’s deputies originally received a “shots fired” call around 1:37 a.m. Sept. 5 at an RV park at 211 Ave. B, Grandfalls. Officials entered a camping-type trailer and found Christina Stafford, 31, of Grandfalls, and Travis M. Dewitt, 30, of Royalty, with gunshot wounds, Ward County Sheriff Mikel Strickland previously said. Stafford was a reported ex-girlfriend of Crawford’s and Dewitt worked with Crawford at Crockett County Mining.
Stafford’s 8-year-old daughter also was reportedly transported to Ward County Memorial Hospital and released later that day.
Crawford also was reportedly charged with public intoxication over the Labor Day weekend, and Strickland said Stafford declined to press assault charges at the time.
Crawford was later found at his parents home and was taken to Medical Center Hospital where he received treatment for blunt force trauma to the head and a gunshot wound to the hand. Strickland said the weapon supposedly used belonged to Crawford’s father, Ward County deputy Steve Crawford.
In a previous interview with the Odessa American, Strickland said Rodney Crawford would be placed in a four-man cell so his cellmates, who are nonviolent offenders, could watch over him in the event his condition worsened.
Calls made to the Ward County Sheriff’s office were directed to the Texas Rangers.