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CCPD continues investigation of man’s death

By Staff | Mar 1, 2016

Police continued to investigate the slaying of a Cape Coral man on Tuesday, as the victim’s son remained in custody at the Lee County Jail on fraud charges.

On Feb. 18, the Cape Coral Police Department was contacted to conduct a welfare check on James Richard Marshall, 58, of 1787 Four Mile Cove Parkway, Apt. 435. The caller, who lives in Miami and identified himself as a business associate of Marshall, stated that he had not been able to reach him.

He advised that they had not spoken in over two days and that was very uncommon.

Officers responded to Marshall’s residence, but they were unable to make contact with anyone.

On Thursday, Cape police upgraded Marshall’s case from a missing persons to an active homicide investigation. Officials reported that Marshall had died and foul play is suspected in his death. Over several days, forensics, divers and marine units collected evidence in and around Marshall’s home.

Detectives do not believe his death was a random incident and there is a person of interest.

“This is still a very active investigation,” Capt. Lisa Barnes said. “While no arrests have been made at this time, our detectives and forensics personnel are working diligently to bring this case to a close.”

According to a police report, the day before Marshall’s business associate contacted police about a welfare check, Marshall’s son attempted to use one of his dad’s cards to pay a tab at a local bar.

A manager at BackStreets Sports Bar, at 915 S.E. 47th Terrace, told police that a man left without paying his $50.53 bill on Feb. 17. The customer tried to pay the bill with a Suncoast Credit Union card, but the card was declined. The manager reported that the name on the card was “James Marshall.”

The manager told the customer that the card had been declined and asked for identification.

The report states that the man identified himself as Matt Marshall. Since his name was not the name listed on the card, the manager asked for a different form of payment. Matt Marshall became upset and tried to come up with a different way to pay. When he could not, he left BackStreets without paying.

The manager said he would press charges and provided a copy of the security footage.

While Matt Marshall was at the police department on Feb. 22 for an “unrelated incident,” it was determined that he was the man who identified himself at BackStreets and left without paying his bill. Based on the investigation, they found there was probable cause to charge him, the report states.

He was taken into custody and transported to the Lee County Jail.

As of Tuesday, Matthew Christopher Marshall, 33, of 1787 Four Mile Cove Parkway, Apt. 435, was being held on $3,500 bond for one count of fraud swindle defraud innkeeper for under $300.

He has a court appearance scheduled for March 15.

Marshall’s death marks the first homicide for the city of Cape Coral since 2014.

Sgt. Dana Coston, spokesman for the CCPD, confirmed on Tuesday that the homicide investigation is still active. He declined to comment on if Marshall’s body had been located or if his son is a suspect.

“We’re not releasing any additional information at this time,” Coston said.