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The remains of Russell McKinley, 29, was found in a creek near San Antonio. Signs of trauma prompted police to investigate and led to the arrest of Allen Fluitt, 27.
The victim is white. The alleged killer is black.
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Though authorities initially responded for a water rescue, an arrest warrant affidavit said the 29-year-old's body showed signs of trauma consistent with strangulation and that it had been partly wrapped with plastic and duct tape.
Three weeks after his death, police arrested a man they say is responsible.
In a Facebook post early Saturday, the Police Department announced that Allen Fluitt, 27, had been arrested in connection with McKinley's killing.
He has been charged with murder.
The post also said more arrests in the case are likely.
The affidavit names two other suspects as co-defendants, though they hadn't been apprehended as of Saturday night.
Several others also allegedly were involved in the incident, some of whom may have ties to the Aryan Brotherhood, according to the affidavit.
“I started shaking,” Mark Reagan, a longtime friend of McKinley's, said of hearing the news of the arrest.
Reagan had met McKinley in the seventh grade, when they attended Concordia Lutheran School. Though the two had not been close in the past seven years, Reagan said, he and many others who knew McKinley were shocked to hear that he had been killed.
“There was a lot of surprise for everybody,” he said. “It's weird when somebody your age is found dead, and nobody likes to see that.”
Reagan said McKinley was a talented musician who was well-read and smart.
“It's how I like to remember him,” Reagan said. “He was very happy playing his guitar. He could hear something and play it on the piano. He was extremely well-versed in music history and was just an all-around creative guy.”
According to the affidavit, Fluitt and the two other suspects had been hanging out with McKinley's girlfriend the night of May 6.
A witness told police the girlfriend was complaining about McKinley and told the suspects that he had a large amount of heroin in his apartment, the affidavit said.
The police document described the suspects as heavy users of methamphetamine.
Sometime after midnight on May 7, the three suspects, along with two women, went to McKinley's apartment in the 2500 block of Jackson-Keller Road, the affidavit said.
The three entered the apartment with a key given to them by his girlfriend. After they entered, McKinley was attacked.
McKinley, in a chokehold, was taken to the ground, the affidavit said. It was then realized that he was not breathing.
A witness told police “all three males described attacking the complainant inside his apartment and 'accidentally' going too far and killing him.”
The suspects and their alleged accomplices reportedly returned to the apartment before McKinley's body was disposed of.
The affidavit said a hole was cut in McKinley's mattress and his body was placed inside to get it out of the building. Also, a section of wallboard was cut from the building to conceal evidence.
The body was later dumped in a drainage culvert near the Walmart at 1420 Austin Highway.
The suspects all have lengthy criminal records, the affidavit noted.
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