Registered sex offender lives at home where burned body found

By Kenneth Dean

(TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The investigation into the death of a man found in a burning storage building behind a home on County Road 495 continued today as detectives try to determine how he died.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said he had not received official word as to the man's identity, but the Tyler Morning Telegraph has learned the person listed at the residence is a 36-year-old registered sex offender, whom authorities have not been able to locate since the fire. The address is 11710 County Road 495.

Smith said Tuesday that his agency had talked to the wife of the person his detectives believed was the victim, and she was in another state but returning home to cooperate in the investigation.

According to records with the Texas Department of Public Safety's Sex Offender Registry, the person shown living at the house is Ryan Thomas Wells, who was convicted in 2007 in Collin County of a sex offense.

Records indicate Wells was convicted on a third-degree felony of online solicitation of a minor with intent to have sexual contact.

The fire was called in Monday night just before midnight and firefighters fighting the fire located a man's body under the debris.

An investigator who had been inside the home said there were signs of a struggle and wads of human hair were on the floor in several locations.

Smith said Tuesday that it was unclear if the death was a homicide or suicide.

The Tyler Paper continues to follow this story and will post additional information as it becomes available.


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