A 59-year-old Beaumont man is dead and a reportedly mentally ill resident of a rental home where the victim was working, a 34-year-old Beaumont man, is in custody for stabbing the man to death on Monday, April 7.
According to a news release from the Beaumont Police Department, patrol officers responded to a report that a body was found in the back yard of a residence in the 5400 block of Sunbury Drive in Beaumont on Monday, April 7, at about 6:44 p.m. When officers arrived, they located John R. Neff lying in the tall grass of the back yard. Neff, a maintenance worker for the company renting out the home, was deceased and had suffered what appeared to be multiple stab wounds, police report. Judge Ray Chesson pronounced Neff dead at the scene.
Occupants of the rental house told police that a family member, Samuel Thomas, IV, told them he had stabbed Neff. Thomas, who suffers from a mental illness, was not at the scene of the crime but was last reported seen at another family member’s house in the 2500 block of Houston Street in Beaumont’s south end. After checking the alternate residence, officers were unable to locate Thomas. Family members at the Houston Street address told Officers that Thomas had been there but left, possibly heading to the north end of town.
After conducting an exhaustive search for Thomas, described by family members as a black male, 5 foot 7 inches to 5 foot 10 inches tall, 155 to 170 pounds, with close-cut black hair, officers located the suspect. Thomas was transported to the Jefferson County Jail where he is being held for murder on a $1 million bond.
BPD Sgt. Rob Flores said Thomas was previously convicted for assaulting a police officer and was on probation, which has now been revoked.