Police report on suicide reveals unanswered questions

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A police report filed after the death of a 20-year-old woman said a gun they recovered had been “wiped clean” and that there “may have been a disturbance” in the home before the shooting.

But a month after the death, police closed the case saying there was “no foul play suspected.”

Police arrived at 1800 Winsted Lane on March 1 and found Sarai Langford with one gunshot wound to the back of her head. No gun was in sight.

A 26-year-old man who lived at the home called police and told authorities he met Langford at the Down in Texas Saloon. He said Langford was a dancer and a bartender who needed a place to live. She moved in with him just six days before her death.

The police report also said there were two spent casings in the cylinder of the .357 Magnum revolver. The man admitted to police he had moved the gun, and “put it away” in his nightstand drawer, according to the report.

The man then began “acting strangely, refused to answer questions and refused to consent to a search of the home,” the report said. He told police he was not home at the time of the shooting, but neighbors say his car was there. At one point, he asked a paramedic, “Hey, EMS guy, do you think she’s gonna make it?”

Refusing to answer questions, the man was handcuffed and taken in for questioning — where he answered limited questions with an attorney present.

At the hospital, doctors found no gunpowder residue on Langford’s hands. Samples were also taken of the man’s hands, but APD admitted to KXAN those tests were never completed. The samples remain in evidence.

Neighbors say they don’t believe the death was a suicide, and they continue to call the police department asking for more details. Police say if new questions are raised in the case, it is possible the samples remaining in evidence will be tested.

In a phone conversation with the man in question, he refused to be interviewed on camera — saying he wants to “put all of this behind him.”

Meanwhile, Langford was buried in her home state of Oklahoma.

UPDATE:

APD spoke to KXAN on Thursday saying the man who called 911 in this incident admitted he moved the gun and that it is not common to see that happen in a suicide.

“He admitted to officers that he did touch the gun and did move the handgun after it was fired,” said Sgt. Jerry Bauzon. “By contacting the gun after it was fired would be enough to transfer the residue onto his hand.” For that reason, the samples taken from that man to test for gunshot residue were not tested, according to the lead homicide detective.

Sarai’s family representative told KXAN they are asking the case not be reopened.

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