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Lincoln man faces second murder charge for homicide at Motel 6, police say

After a report from a callous man took Lincoln police on a whirlwind investigation that led them to two dead bodies, multiple crime scenes and the city dump, a 55-year-old faces his second charge. murder in four weeks, authorities say.


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William T. Wright, who has been in jail since September 1 after being arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the August 30 death of 61-year-old Ronald George, has now been arrested for his alleged connection to another victim of homicide, Lincoln police said Wednesday.

On Wednesday, investigators arrested Wright on suspicion of first-degree murder and the use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony in the death of Ronnie Patz, a 49-year-old Lincoln man whose remains were found in a motel less than two days after George was killed in a field near Third and P streets on August 30, police say.

The police department had made the connection between Wright and Patz’s death clear earlier this month, when Deputy Chief Jason Stille at a press conference called the 55-year-old “the main and only person of interest” in the investigation.

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Wright’s previous relationship with George and Patz remains unclear, but the three men were frequent guests of the People’s City Mission, a homeless shelter less than two blocks from where police found George. died around 2 a.m. on August 31.

At a press conference earlier this month, Stille offered the following timeline of events:

* At 2am on August 31, officers were dispatched to a field near Third and P streets, where they found George dead with stab wounds to the neck. Police found a knife at the scene.

* Interviews with witnesses led police to two persons of interest, including one who was interviewed at 6am. These people eventually led investigators to Wright, who Stille said was the last person to see George alive.

* After investigators interviewed more than a dozen people, Wright was arrested at the homeless shelter around 9 p.m. on August 31.

* Further interviews with Wright and additional witnesses dispatched investigators to Motel 6 near Northwest 12th and Bond streets at 10:30 p.m.

* There, police found Patz’s remains in the early morning hours of September 1. Investigators believe he died between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on August 29, Stille said, the day before George died.

* Stille said video evidence showed Wright and Patz meeting on the afternoon of August 29 at the motel, where Wright returned alone a day later, according to police.

* During August 30, Stille said, Wright then made contact with a person of interest who led Wright to George, who died shortly after 10 p.m.

Investigators then used a DNA sample from an immediate family member to identify Patz, whose remains were initially unidentifiable, Stille said.

Motel CCTV, reviewed by police after Wright’s arrest, showed the 55-year-old throwing items into the motel’s dumpster at 5 p.m. on Aug. 30, Stille said. A garbage company brought the contents of the dumpster to the landfill around 4 a.m. on August 31 – two hours after police found George’s body near the City Mission, and nearly a day before the police begin to search the motel for Patz.

The investigation into Patz’s death then led authorities to the local landfill, where law enforcement spent 60 hours over the course of a week sifting through 1.9 million pounds of trash in search of of evidence.

It is unclear what police found during their search of the landfill, which ended on September 14. At a press conference announcing the search, Stile said authorities were looking for “a specific bag,” but declined to elaborate on the type of evidence police are looking for.

In a press release announcing the end of the search in mid-September, police said only that they had found “all evidence that we reasonably believe will be located”.

Two weeks after the search was completed, Wright was officially arrested in Patz’s death.

‘It defies logic’ – Lincoln police detail events that left two dead in three days

‘It defies logic’ – Lincoln police detail events that left two dead in three days

Lincoln man arrested for homicide near city homeless shelter; police investigate second body found

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On Twitter @andrewwegley