Cops: 23 Years Later, Killer Returns for Victim's Daughter

Travis Lewis is dead along with his latest victim, say deputies
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2020 9:45 AM CDT

It was Sept. 10, 1996, when a man entered a home on Arkansas' Horseshoe Lake, fatally shooting two inhabitants, Sally Snowden McKay and her nephew, Lee Baker. More than 23 years later, deputies say the same man returned to kill again. Travis Lewis, paroled in 2018, killed McKay's daughter, Martha McKay, a few houses down from the initial crime scene on Wednesday before jumping into the lake and drowning, Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen says, per the Commercial Appeal. Responding to an alarm, two deputies "found an open back door and upon clearing the house located a possible suspect who jumped from an upstairs window," Allen says. He adds that Lewis, 39, jumped into a vehicle and drove across the yard, becoming stuck, per WMC. He then "ran and jumped into the lake. He was observed going under the water and never came back up."

Authorities used sonar equipment to locate the body of Lewis, who had drowned, according to Allen. McKay, in her mid-60s, was "found deceased inside the house" where she lived. She'd been stabbed, according to neighbors who spoke with deputies, per the Appeal. Oddly, the property—the century-old Snowden House, featuring marble floors, a grand staircase, and heirlooms from some of the first homes in Memphis, Tenn., 34 miles to the northeast—was the setting for the 1994 movie adaption of John Grisham's murder mystery The Client. Lewis, whose parents formerly lived on Snowden-owned property at Horseshoe Lake, was a teenager when he pleaded guilty to the 1996 murders of McKay's 75-year-old mother and 52-year-old cousin and was sentenced to 28.5 years in prison. His subsequent contact with McKay, if any, is unclear. (Read more murder stories.)

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