Daniel Ray Underwood, 33, died of a shotgun wound to the head on September 4, 2008, while engaged in an altercation with Rebecca Nelson at his home in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Earlier that evening, Daniel, Rebecca, and a couple of friends, Robin and Maria, had been at a bar together. Maria had accompanied them back to Daniel’s house. Rebecca had been staying at his residence since the weekend of July 4th, a mere two months. According to Maria, once there, Daniel and Rebecca got into a heated argument, and Maria fled the room. A short time later, she stepped into the hallway and saw Daniel and Rebecca standing a few feet away with a 12 gauge shotgun. Daniel was confronting and accusing Rebecca of taking a large sum of his cash that he had discovered missing.
The 911 call began with Rebecca stating, “My fiancé just shot himself in the head on accident!” She goes into a scream/crying fit, but is able to stop and answer the 911 dispatcher very clearly, then reverts back into her hysterics. Upon their arrival, Law Enforcement took their time taking photos and assessing the scene before allowing emergency responders in to begin their treatment of Daniel.
Rebecca’s interrogation videos are anything but; Detective Lenwood “Bo” Fox already knew her personally and should have recused himself from conducting the interviews.(During the interview she states she has given him tips on other cases and he says he has talked to her on cases before this one.) Upon entering the interrogation room, Rebecca immediately asked if she could have Daniel’s wallet and credit cards (cards were in Daniel's name only). Detective Fox states that since they are not yet married, his parents are technically his next of kin and Daniel’s personal effects will be released to them. As questioning begins, Rebecca attempts to portray an idyllic relationship; one with no arguments or financial issues, although Daniel has been unemployed for a short time. He had cashed in his 401K worth roughly $25,000 upon leaving his former job of nearly seven years and they had been living off of that for the last several weeks.
Even before Daniel took his last breath, Rebecca considered everything he owned to be hers. She called numerous people while she waited at the crime scene and claimed to be his beneficiary---all the while Daniel was still lying in the hall floor dying from his gunshot wound. As, if this was not bad enough to be saying as he was dying, she left the police department after her interview, (also, to be noted, Rebecca arrived at the PD with an ex-boyfriend she was wanting to get back together with...) and rushed backed to Daniel's house and begins gathering up everything she could steal of his personal belongings to sale for cash. Rebecca deleted information from his laptop she took from the house and his cell phone.
His death was immediately ruled a suicide, long before any forensic testing or even prior to questions being asked of the people that were there at the time. Not only was his death tragic and senseless, it was violent.
After obtaining all of the case files, along with the autopsy report, photos and lab results showing traces of GSR on the person of interest, the case should be reopened. The eyewitness, Maria, has come forward confirming our suspicions. Rebecca was known to run around with other men even when she was with Daniel.Our family does not believe that Daniel’s death was a suicide.
Police did not question the conflicting versions of Rebecca’s story, although she continually contradicted herself. Rebecca agreed to take a polygraph test about the facts of that evening but backed out after consulting with her attorney. However, she told numerous people that she did take the test and passed it with flying colors.
We want the cause of death on Daniel’s death certificate to be officially changed from suicide to homicide or undetermined. That would make it possible for Daniel’s case to be reopened. Then, we want the investigation turned over to an outside agency with which the investigators have no personal relationship with Rebecca or anyone else involved with the case.
Daniel was a good person – a loving son – a devoted father – and a hard worker. He deserves a proper investigation.
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