On Nov. 9, only six days after Broken Bow resident Willis Marshall disappeared, a witness told sheriff’s deputy John Mowrer that before Willis disappeared, Marvin Bray had tied him up several times just prior to Marshall’s disappearance.
Using a cadaver dog, deputies later found human remains, some of them in a burn pile near Marvin Bray’s residence. They found segments of human remains on the grounds.
They also found a trailer with buckets of burned materials, believed to have come from that same burn pile.
The above statements and more are contained in a batch of search warrants recently filed in McCurtain County District Court.
State statutes require that search warrants and the “returns,” detailing what was found after a search, must be filed in a court clerk’s office within 10 days or the search warrants become void.
Multiple search warrants and returns have now been filed in the case of Bray, 52, Broken Bow, who remains in the county jail on charges of felon in possession of a firearm and knowingly concealing stolen property.
After Marshall – who regularly worked for Bray, according to witnesses – went missing, sheriff’s deputies began questioning people, and those conversations led to a series of search warrants of Bray’s home and grounds east of Broken Bow, and a search of a stolen U-Haul trailer.
Officers got their first search warrant on Nov. 29. Several more followed.
They found an SKS rifle, a Mossberg shotgun and a large amount of ammunition, including 50-round drums and 12-gauge “Dragon’s Breath” shotgun rounds, which are a special type of incendiary-effect rounds that shoot sparks and flames for about 100 feet.
When officers searched Bray’s residence and grounds, they brought with them a cadaver dog, which detects only the presence of human remains.
Located in a burn pile close to Bray’s home, officers found what they believed to be human remains, sheriff’s investigator Richard Williamson said. The dog alerted on the burn pile.
They found a trailer that contained buckets of burned material, and upon further inspection, the officer believed that the burned material on the trailer came from the same burn pile where human remains were located.
Bray’s residence also contained a pair of jeans with a blood stain on them, officers said.
Deputy John Mowrer told the judge that he received a call on Nov. 27 about a stolen U-Haul trailer believed to be at Bray’s residence. The officer confirmed the VIN number on the trailer at Bray’s place matched that of the stolen trailer.
Officers also seized a phone at the property. Williamson noted that: “It is common for people who commit these types of crimes to use digital communications to plan, hide, and conceal the remains of the person. It is also common to photograph the remains…I have reason to believe that the phone described may have evidence of the crime… “desecration of humans.”
So far, that crime has not been filed against Bray, but prosecutors did file sufficient felony charges to hold Bray in the county jail while the investigation continues.
The illegal gun charge stemmed from Bray being a convicted felon and allegedly having a gun in the jacket he wore when officers located him.
The extremely burned remains have not yet been identified.
District Attorney Mark Matloff requested the OSBI also investigate, and an OSBI crime scene expert has been at Bray’s home this week.