Rockwall man found murdered in trunk of badly burned car

MT. PLEASANT TX – A Rockwall man was murdered and his charred remains were found last weekend in the trunk of a badly-burned 2009 Toyota in a heavily-wooded, secluded area in southern Franklin County, southwest of Mt. Pleasant in East TX.

Sean Andrew Lam, 41, who was last seen Friday night, May 20, leaving the Sagebrush liquor store he owned in Newsome TX, was found the morning of May 21 by a Franklin Co. Sheriff’s deputy, just off State Highway 37, north of Winnsboro, after a car fire was reported.

Newsome is a small town of about 1,600 residents located on Highway 11 between Winnsboro and Pittsburg, just south of Monticello Reservoir and Lake Cypress Springs.

His body had been burned beyond recognition but the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office was able to use dental records to identify him, according to Martin Braddy, who serves as District Attorney for Franklin, Hopkins and Delta Counties.

“We’re working diligently to solve this,” said Braddy. “We have suspects and are following every lead we’ve got.”

Franklin Co. Sheriff Paul Fletcher told The Mt. Pleasant Daily-Tribune that Lam did not appear to have died in the fire at the site where his body was found.

The fire apparently burned the paint off the car, destroying any evidence inside, but left a readable license plate, which was registered to Lam and his wife.

He told CBS19 TV-News May 23 – before the body had been identified – that the vehicle was still warm when deputies approached the car and opened the trunk.

“When we opened the trunk, there was a body there and a bunch of ash,” Sheriff Fletcher said. “The body was burned so bad you couldn’t tell a gender or race on it. Whoever burned the car did a very good job.”

After the body was identified, Fletcher went to Rockwall May 26 and told the victim’s wife that the Dallas medical examiners had positively identified the body burned in the car as her husband’s.

He added that Lam has a large family in the Rockwall area, including children, a brother, nieces and nephews.

Rockwall Co. Sheriff’s Department officers and the State Fire Marshall’s office are assisting with the investigation.

If you have any information about the incident, call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department at (903) 537-4539.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher



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