Deputies responding to a 911 call in this East Texas town found a gruesome scene: a human ear boiling in a pot on a stovetop and a hunk of flesh impaled on a fork sitting atop a plate on the kitchen table.
Authorities believe that the man arrested in the death of his 21-year-old girlfriend cooked parts of her body and may have tried to eat them — actions they said he described to them in the emergency call that led them to the grisly discovery.
Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, was scheduled to be arraigned Monday on a capital murder charge. He was in solitary confinement at a jail on a $2 million bond Sunday night and did not have an attorney, officials said.
Authorities say it is unclear whether McCuin consumed any part of the woman's body.
"We cannot prove that he did," Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith said Sunday. "He was either going to, had been or led us to think that he was doing it."
McCuin is also the suspect in the early Saturday morning stabbing of a man described as his estranged wife's boyfriend, Smith said.
McCuin has a criminal record that includes driving while intoxicated and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges. When he was arrested, McCuin had an outstanding felony retaliation warrant.
Smith said McCuin was known to authorities and had "a history of violence," including assaulting his estranged wife, his girlfriend and his sister.
Officials believe the horrific chain of events began when Jana Shearer, McCuin's girlfriend, was taken by McCuin from her home late Friday night and killed.
Smith said McCuin then drove to his estranged wife's home, where he stabbed his wife's boyfriend, William Veasley, 42. Veasley was in intensive care Sunday night.
McCuin was still in that home when deputies arrived, but he jumped into his car and escaped after a short chase, Smith said. "We did not know at the time that he had murdered anyone," Smith said. "We thought it was a disturbance or an assault."
McCuin wasn't seen again until Saturday morning, when he arrived at the home he shared with his mother and called her into the garage so she could "come see what he had done," Smith said.
His mother and her boyfriend saw the remains of Shearer, authorities said. McCuin's mother and her boyfriend fled the home and flagged down a police officer. McCuin dialed 911 after they left and told an emergency dispatcher he had killed Shearer and was boiling her body parts, Smith said.
When sheriff deputies arrived, McCuin barricaded himself in the home for a short time before coming out. After he emerged, a tactical team entered and found Shearer's body, Sgt. Gary Middleton said. They also found the grisly scene in the kitchen.
After McCuin was arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car, he kicked out the vehicle's side window before being put in additional restraints, Middleton said.
Shearer appeared to have died from blunt trauma to her head, Smith said. She may have been kidnapped Friday night, when her mother saw her get into McCuin's truck.
Detectives were trying to determine where the killing happened. They think McCuin drove to his mother's home with the dead woman in the back seat of his extended-cab pickup, Smith said.