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James Elrod III and Carolyn Elrod

The Lamar County Sheriff's Office has charged James Henry Elrod III with two counts of murder for the April 26 deaths of a 38-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man in northwestern Lamar County.

The deceased are identified as Ronald Edward Hostetler Jr., 53, from Paris and Cassie Mullens Head, 38, from Wright City, Oklahoma.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families in their tragic loss," Sheriff Scott Cass said.

Deputies were dispatched to a deceased person call on April 26 in northwest Lamar County, where two bodies were discovered, Cass said. Detectives learned a vehicle was missing from the residence belonging to the family of the deceased man. Detectives also learned that James Elrod III and Carylon Lynell Elrod were living at the home, and they were missing.

"Detectives and Texas Ranger Stacy McNeal worked the scene as a double homicide and warrants were quickly obtained for both James Henry Elrod III and Carylon Elrod for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle," Cass said in a news release. "Detectives learned that both these individuals were from the Southeastern Oklahoma area, and they were seen a short time later in Idabel, Oklahoma, in the vehicle."

McNeal and deputies were joined by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations, U.S. Marshal’s Service, McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office in De Queen, Arkansas, in the search for the Elrods. Information was gained by the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office that led sheriff deputies and OSBI agents to a camper in the Hayworth, Oklahoma, area where both were found hiding and taken into custody.

On Thursday, during further investigation in McCurtain County, the vehicle the suspects had fled in was recovered in the Hayworth area by detectives, Cass said.

On Friday, two arrest warrants for murder were obtained for James Elrod III. Both Elrod suspects are currently in the McCurtain County Jail awaiting extradition, Cass said.

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6960 or klark.byrd@theparisnews.com.

Managing Editor

Klark Byrd is the managing editor of The Paris News and the editor of Paris Life Magazine. He resides in Paris with his wife, Krystle, and their three children, Charlie, Annalise and Willow.

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