By Hal Brown
Murder charges have been filed against Thomas Creech, 33, in the death of Mark Shurish, 29, last summer. Creech’s former employer at Fuzzy’s Bar, Mary Grote, has been arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence in the case.
The Llano County Sheriff’s Department announced Monday that Creech had been arrested in connection with Shurish’s murder. Shurish had been missing since June 6 when he was last seen at Fuzzy’s Bar at the intersection of SH 29 and RR 1431. Shurish was reported missing by a relative on June 16.
Llano County Chief Deputy John Neff said Tuesday that Grote was arrested at her home in Pardners Trailer Park in Buchanan Dam about 7 p.m. Monday..
Llano County investigators and Texas Rangers turned up information that Shurish might have been murdered at an abandoned mobile home at 9185 RR1431, near Fuzzy’s Corner. In September a Department of Public Safety crime scene team that processed the scene suggested a violent act had occurred there.
Neff said additional evidence as the investigation progressed indicated Shurish’s body was disposed of on Grote Ranch in Mason County, that is owned by Mary Grote’s family
Llano and Mason County deputies, Texas Rangers, and a Texas State University Department of Anthropology team processed the scene at the ranch and recovered some skeletal remains in a pit.
Neff said Shurish was identified when the remains matched up with hospital records.
Llano County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Era Marion issued an arrest warrant for Creech on October 15. Creech was arrested in Madison County, Mo. on October 19. Neff said Creech had family in that area.
Creech was arraigned Friday in Llano on charges of first degree murder and is being held without bond in the Llano County Jail. Grote’s tampering charge is a second degree felony.
Officers don’t know why, exactly, Shurish was killed.
"We have some theories," Neff said. "There’s nothing concrete as far as the motive goes other than both these individuals (Creech and Shurish) were involved in the drug trade. Often times that is a motive."
Also assisting in the investigation were DPS Narcotics agents and the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office.