Two arrested in connection with Leesville soldier's death

Two arrested in connection with Leesville soldier's death
(Source: Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office)

LEESVILLE, LA (KPLC) - Two Leesville residents have been arrested in connection with the death of a Fort Polk soldier missing since September, authorities said.

Wanda Gail Gordon, 40, and Tobias Lamont Williams, 27, have been charged with one count each of first-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice, said Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft.

The arrests are the result of an extensive investigation into the disappearance of Jonathan Ellis, 40, of Leesville, who was reported missing by family members on Sept. 23.

Ellis was an active duty service member stationed at Fort Polk. His family last reported speaking to him on the evening of Sept. 19, Craft said.

During the investigation, Gordon and Williams were identified as persons of interest in the case.

Deputies got a warrant for Gordon's arrest for a vehicle theft. She was located and taken into custody in Tyler, Texas and was transported back to Vernon Parish the same day.

"Detectives attempted to interview Gordon in relation to the disappearance of Ellis, but she refused to cooperate in the investigation," Craft said.

Meanwhile, detectives located Williams and did several interviews with him about the whereabouts of Ellis.

"Williams did indicate to investigators that Ellis was, in fact, the victim of a homicide," Craft said. "He lead detectives to a location in the area of East Hawthorne Road where he indicated Ellis' body was disposed."

Detectives, agents and other investigators brought a cadaver dog to the location. It was searched over a two-day period and human remains were located in several areas. Early on in the investigation, Ellis' truck was found in the area of Jeane Chapel Road.

Gordon and Williams each have a $3 million bond and both remain in the Vernon Parish Jail.

Agents from the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Command at Fort Polk worked with VPSO detectives in this investigation.

The investigation is ongoing and may result in additional charges in the near future, Craft said.

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