New Tip Surfaces In Search For Hiker Feared Murdered In Sequoyah County


Sunday, July 24th 2016, 4:02 pm
By: News On 6


Working from a new tip, Sequoyah County authorities have expanded the search area for the body of a missing hiker feared to have been murdered, they told News On 6 on Sunday.

Matthew Fagan disappeared last month after the sheriff's office said he went on a hike near the Cato Creek area of Lake Tenkiller with Michael Snelling, Blake Shamblin and Tyler Leverett.

Those three men have been arrested for first-degree murder.

Officials, with the help of about 50 volunteers this weekend, have been scouring the wooded area on horseback, with ATVs, and the assistance of cadaver dogs, the Sequoyah County Sheriff said.

Dive teams, cadaver dogs and a special robot with sonar equipment previously searched a nearby cove and three areas of the lake.

The search picked up again on Saturday afternoon after the tip surfaced. On Sunday, investigators said they are focused on Cato Creek all the way to Highway 82.

The search was suspended at dark and is expected to begin again on Monday.

Investigators ask that if you are traveling near the search are to please stay clear and not impede their efforts.

According to court records, Leverett told investigators Snelling got into a fight with Fagan on the trail. Leverett said he witnessed Snelling hit Fagan with a ball-peen hammer, knocking him unconscious.

7/12/2016 Related Story: Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office Arrests 3 Connected To Missing Hiker