Sam Lea was murdered by Kyle Nathan Johnson, a man he tried to help – In the Shadow of Halloween examines this tragic case.
October 31, 2005, in Arlington, Texas, and 24-year-old undergraduate Lea was found dead in his home. A friend went to check on the keen photographer after his parents became became worried about him.
Lea’s body was found in his bedroom and an examination revealed he’d been strangled to death a few days before.
Detectives soon worked out that Lea’s 2004 Chevorlet Avalanche was missing and a few month later they got a hit in Waco, where police found the vehicle in an apartment building parking lot.
Inside there was a receipt from a local GameStop that had the name of Kyle Nathan Johnson printed on it. When detectives questioned several witnesses, they were able to describe a man who seemed to be homeless or down on his luck.
Investigators believed that Lea tried to help Johnson out, by letting him eat and wash at his apartment.
In January 2006, 20 year-old Johnson was arrested and charged with Lea’s murder. Just over a year later, Johnson pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison, with parole only possible after 30 years.
In the Shadow of Halloween airs at 8:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.