Topaz Ranch homicide investigation
November 18, 2011
Douglas County detectives should be wrapping up their work today inside the Topaz Ranch Estates home of a man who was found shot to death on Tuesday.
Norman Welch, 59, had lived in the house on Gray Hills Road since he bought the property in 1994.
On Wednesday, Gray Hills Road was cordoned off by crime scene tape at Eagle and Bald Mountain roads as investigators worked inside the white doublewide mobile home.
Capt. John Milby said Thursday an autopsy was conducted Thursday on Welch.
He said Welch’s body was found Tuesday morning by the victim’s ex-wife who was involved in his Internet sales of Formula 1 race car models.
“She hadn’t heard from him in some time and became suspicious,” Milby said.
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According to information provided by the sheriff’s office, Welch had been shot sometime in the last two weeks. They are seeking his roommate, 38 year-old Jeanine Mona Escandon.
Escandon is described as 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighing about 105 pounds, with a thin build, brown eyes, and medium length brown hair. She has false front teeth.
Milby said investigators have received reports of a few sightings of Escandon, but authorities are still seeking information.
“We are following up on the reports, but we have not found her yet. We’re continuing to seek information,” he said.
Sgt. Jim Halsey said Wednesday the sheriff’s office had no prior contact with Escandon.
In May, Welch filed a fraud report with Douglas County that $3,600 was withdrawn illegally from his personal and business checking accounts.
According to the report, the transactions took place in Texas, Maryland and Malta. Welch’s losses were covered by Bank of America, according to the report.
Welch was president of Formula One Specialties Inc., according to a filing with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.
The license plate for the missing maroon-colored 1990 Chrysler Imperial four-door sedan, bearing Nevada personal license plate No. F1NEV, was based on the name of the company, his friend said.
According to documents filed with the Douglas County Recorder, Welch ran into trouble on Dec. 1, 2009, when he missed a payment. A notice of default was recorded in March 2010.
In January 2011, a mediation conference was held and it was determined that the foreclosure could go forward. According to a notice of trustee’s sale issued on Oct. 12, the home was to have been on a list of those up for sale on the courthouse steps at 1 p.m. Nov. 16. However, on Oct. 20, the default notice was rescinded.
Halsey said details regarding the ongoing investigation are not being revealed.
However, if anyone locates or has knowledge of Escadon’s whearabouts, they’re urged to contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office dispatch line at (775) 782-5126.
A man who said he was a friend of Welch’s but refused to identify himself said he’d never seen Welch mad.
“He didn’t have a mean bone in his body,” he said.