Former newspaper photographer, Brian Colbert, 43, forged signatures on documents and superimposed his photo over his dead former landlord’s ID
Pretended to be Ronald Shumway, 57, so that he could sell his home
‘The Corpse was identified in a slab of concrete in the backyard after the home’s new owner reported the smell of rotting flesh. Police have ruled death a homicide’
A Texas man is accused of selling the home of his dead former landlord whose corpse was found encased in concrete so he could pocket more than $100,000. Police are ruling 57-year-old Ronald Shumway’s death, reported missing in April, a homicide, according to the Dallas News.
They have not said whether his neighbor, former newspaper photographer Christopher Brian Colbert, 43, killed Shumway but they believe he posed as the owner of his Oak Cliff home after he went missing. Shumway owned the property for over 30 years.
Police are still on the hunt for former Dallas Voice photographer Colbert who they say forged signatures on documents, and superimposed his photo over his dead former landlord’s ID, according to NBC.
Mysterious tale: Christopher Brian Colbert, 43, left, is accused of pretending to be his murdered neighbor and landlord Ronald Shumway, 57, right, in order to sell his home and then run away with the money
Colbert is also hair stylist. In 2008, he created a product to prevent bleach and hair from ruining a person’s makeup.
Colbert is charged with money laundering tampering with government records, and deception. He has not been charged in Shumway’s death.
Police claim that in addition to stealing his neighbor’s identity, Shumway is accused of spending $40,000 on Shumway’s debit card.
The broker told police he was emailed from Ronald Shumway’s address and later met with Colbert who introduced himself at Robert Shumway.
In May, Shumway’s house was put up for sale and it sold in June. During the summer it was flipped.
Colbert initially wanted to sell the home for $145,000 but he later dropped the price down to $130,000 so he could sell the home more quickly, according to WFAA.
Macabre: Shumway’s murdered corpse was found encased in cement in the backyard of Shumway’s home (pictured). The body wasn’t discovered until the home’s new owner began to smell decomposing flesh
Tragedy: Shumway, a DART bus driver, owned his property for over 30 years before he mysteriously disappeared and was later found to be the victim of a ‘violent homicide’
Two days after the closing of the home which was notarized by Pamela Bramhall, the Chicago Title Company wired $110,000 to Shumway’s account.
The home went through a few more deed transfers before people began to smell ‘a strong odor of decomposition.’
The new owner of the home, who has not been identified, found a ‘cement rectangular structure’ with a black plastic bag inside on September 24.
When authorities opened the bag, Shumway’s body was found inside. The DNA results confirming the body was the missing DART bus driver came back on February 12.
‘I would hope [detectives] figure it out, come to a conclusion and catch the guy. That would be best for the whole neighborhood,’ said Gregory Damman, who lives nearby Shumway’s home.
‘The story gets deeper,’ Damman said.
‘It’s a little unnerving, that all this basically happened in my backyard.’
Posts on Colbert’s Facebook page before he went missing indicated he was moving to Austin with someone he met online.
Shumway’s brother, Mark, says the blame for the sale of the property falls on Bramhall for not making sure the seller was who he said he was.
‘The notary made a huge mistake and it’s unfathomable that someone in that position whose job it is to make sure it is are who they say they are and come to closing with the proper documentation and identification would let a sale of a property happen in this manner,’ he said.
‘It’s just unbelievable that somebody could be so incompetent and so negligent to facilitate this type of transaction.’