Bell County sheriff’s deputies and the Texas Rangers are investigating an apparent homicide Saturday just outside Killeen city limits.

At 6:09 a.m. Saturday, deputies were dispatched to a “man down” call in the 17000 block of Farm-to-Market 439 east of Killeen in Bell County, according to a news release.

Upon arrival, Killeen Fire Department paramedics told deputies they found a dead man in the backyard. The home had been ransacked, and officials said family members were determining what was missing.

Jack B. Ray, 83, of Killeen, was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke. An autopsy was ordered at the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas, according to the news release.

Officials said Saturday evening there were no suspects and more information would be released after the preliminary autopsy results were received, which could be as early as today.

In a statement, Sheriff Eddy Lange said Ray was a “longtime friend and will be greatly missed.”

Lange said, “Every effort is being made to solve this crime and bring those involved to justice.”

Sheriff’s investigators ask anyone with information about Ray’s death to call the department at 254-933-6759.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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