Police: Baytown man's death `obvious homicide'
By ZAIN SHAUK
The sight of a 75-year-old man on a red scooter zipping through a north Baytown neighborhood had become so common that when he was gone for more than a week, residents called police.
When authorities responded Tuesday, they found the body of Franklin McCown, the victim of what appeared to be an "obvious homicide," Baytown Police Detective Aaron Crowell said.
McCown had been dead in his trailer on Cedar Bayou Road for as long as two weeks before police arrived at his home, Crowell said.
Crowell would not elaborate on details of the death because of an ongoing investigation but said police believe McCown was killed.
"We're not going to release the details of how he was killed, but it's an obvious homicide," Crowell said.
Recognized by neighbors
Most neighborhood residents and businesspeople were unfamiliar with McCown by name but knew of him because of his habit of riding through the area.
"The only reason I even remember him is he would drive up and down really fast like it was a motorcycle on this little scooter," said Amy Baker, an assistant at Derry Berry's Mechanical Contractors, also on Cedar Bayou Road.
Customers at Jan Taylor's nearby hair salon, Shades of Nuance, often would comment on McCown's tendency to dart down the busy road on his scooter, Taylor said.
"It was kind of funny," she said of the vehicle's unexpected pace. "I always assumed it was a bike that had some kind of device added to it."
Key to investigation
The call from residents who noticed McCown's absence from the roads was key in the investigation, Crowell said.
"If they wouldn't have notified us it probably would have been some time before we would have noticed it ourselves," he said.
Police learned about McCown from neighbors and local businesspeople, including clerks at a nearby H-E-B grocery store.
"He was the kind of guy that you would see him out and about," Crowell said.
Police initially were unable to enter McCown's trailer but reached McCown's brother, also a Baytown resident, who unlocked the home, Crowell said.
There were no signs of robbery, said Crowell, who would not elaborate on motives for the homicide.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Baytown Police Department at 281-422-8371 or Crime Stoppers at 281-427-TIPS (8477).
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