Deputies Search for Suspect After Man Found Dead in Yard

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A man was found lying dead in the front yard of his home in Paris Tuesday morning (May 14), according to Logan County deputies.

Joseph Stapleton, 33, appeared to have blunt trauma to his body, possibly including gunshot wounds, according to sheriff’s deputies. Authorities were notified of the apparent homicide around 11:30 a.m.

"Some people went by to feed the dogs and found him laying in the yard,” said Sheriff Steve Smith. “When we arrived it appeared that he was definitely deceased, and it wasn't accidental."

Investigator Ray Gack said deputies responded to the home in the 3900 block of North 5th Street just before noon.

Deputies have interviewed those who live nearby. Neighbor John Thias saw a white car with two men driving down the narrow dirt road where Stapleton lived on Monday.

"One of the fellas did have, was kind of looking down, he had his head down,” Thias said. “They just waved and went on. Then when I got home, my wife had said that she had heard some shots not long ago."

As of early Wednesday, investigators did not have any suspects, police said.

Stapleton’s half-sister Mona Sayers can't imagine why anyone would want her brother dead.

"He'd never hurt anybody, and he didn't deserve to be hurt or killed neither,” she said.

Sayers last spoke with Stapleton Monday morning. The next day she learned from a friend that he was dead.

“She said that when she pulled in the driveway here, she said you couldn't miss him,” Sayers said. “He was laying right there, and he laid there all night. She said that you could tell that he didn't have any shoes or his shirt on, and you could tell that he'd been there a while."

Stapleton's body has been sent to the state crime lab in Little Rock for an autopsy, officials said.

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