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The Shawnee News-Star
  • UPDATE: Body identified as missing Shawnee man; homicide probe ongoing

  • Pam Dent said she knows her son is in Heaven and she's relying on her faith as police investigate his murder.
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  • Pam Dent said she knows her son is in Heaven and she's relying on her faith as police investigate his murder.
    Authorities on Friday identified the body found on tribal land in Pottawatomie County as Marshall Scott Dent, 27, the Shawnee man who went missing Dec. 23.
    The state medical examiner concludes Dent's cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and neck, with manner confirmed as homicide.
    Shawnee police had been investigating Dent's disappearance since his mother reported him missing before Christmas. When a body was excavated north of Shawnee Wednesday, it was believed to be Dent, but the official positive identification didn't come until late Friday.
    And while news of her son's death — and murder — is heartbreaking, Pam Dent said Friday night that she's putting herself in the Lord's hands to get her through this unspeakable tragedy.
    After weeks of not knowing where her son was or what happened to him, Pam Dent said she does feel fortunate to have answers. She said many other mothers and families with missing loved ones never find them.
    "I guarantee I feel for all who have no answers still — I've committed myself to pray for those people," she said.
    The grieving Shawnee mother said she began preparing herself for this news since the day her son went missing.
    "I knew it from day one," she said.
    Pam said while it was an anonymous tip that led authorities to search the parcel of tribal land in far northern Pottawatomie County earlier this week, she feels there was more to the discovery.
    "The Lord himself — he's the one who revealed where he was," she said, adding her son died "too young — too early."
    Marshall Dent's 7-year-old son was told about his father's death on Friday, she said, and he responded with, "My daddy's in Heaven."
    As the family mourns the loss, friends have made a memorial on the fence outside her home, she said, where posters read, "We miss you Marshall. We love you. Rest in Peace."
    Now Pam Dent wants to know everything that happened to her son and is waiting for further information from police.
    The homicide investigation is ongoing and the FBI is now the lead agency on the case.
    Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said the FBI, the Pottawatomie County Sheriff's Office, Shawnee police and Sac and Fox Nation Tribal Police were all working together Friday as part of this case.
    The discovery and excavation of Dent's body occurred Wednesday after Sac and Fox tribal authorities called in the FBI because homicide falls under the Major Crimes Act for Indian land, which requires a federal warrant.
    Page 2 of 2 - There's been no word if any arrests have been made in this case, but reports indicate that a man already jailed could possibly be connected to this case. Authorities haven't released or confirmed any further information.
    Watch for updates.
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