Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober on Monday said his office and the Arkansas State Police continue to investigate the death of Marquis Martin, a 26-year-old Wilmar man whose body was discovered March 7, nearly a month after he was reported missing.
The state Medical Examiner listed Martin’s death as a homicide caused by a close-range, single gunshot wound to the back of his head. Tenth Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen released the autopsy results Monday.
Rumors surrounding Martin’s death have been circulating on social media. Some of those rumors were proven to be untrue with the release of the autopsy report.
“There’s no evidence of trauma to his body other than the gunshot to his head,” Deen said. “It is unusual for me to release any information while an investigation is pending but the amount of misinformation that appears to be circulating caused me to do so.”
Martin was last seen on surveillance video at the Murphy USA gas station on February 9, shortly after leaving work at the McDonalds restaurant in Monticello. He reportedly was given a ride from the gas station to his home in Wilmar. His body was discovered on March 7 in a creek outside of Wilmar,
A $25,000 reward has been offered for information in Martin’s death. Anyone who has information about his death is asked to contact the Arkansas State Police or the Drew County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Gober said one rumor circulating on social media is that he and/or his sons were involved in Martin’s murder. “Social media is running haywire out there,” he said. He also said there have been death threats against him and his sons.
Gober said the rumor that he or his sons were involved in Martin’s disappearance and murder seems to have started on February 28, before Martin’s body was discovered. He said a former political opponent made the following comment on social media:
“As a law enforcement officer but most importantly a father of four kids, I have learned that tough love is just that, tough LOVE. I believe in discipline and that a person of authority (such as law enforcement) should not cover up for their family members (much less their children).
“When one does so it erodes the public’s trust when these unfair/unjust events occur. However, the same people in these positions wonder why their trust is questioned… stop covering up for your family. Support them without enabling them.
Though the comment doesn’t mention Gober, the sheriff believes he was the subject of the comment because it ends with “2022”, the year of the next sheriff’s race in Drew County.
“If my kids have contact with law enforcement, that’s up to them. I don’t get them out of trouble. I’ve never even got them out of a speeding ticket,” Gober said. “He can say what he wants about me but don’t bring my family into it. And he picked the wrong time to make a political jab towards me, in the middle of a murder investigation.”
Gober said the investigation continues to be a priority of the Drew County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police.