• Martha McKay was found dead at the Snowden house
  • Her assailant, Travis Lewis, was also found at the residence though he jumped out the upstairs window.
  • He was responsible for the Horseshoe murders that killed McKay's mother and Lee Baker

Martha McKay was found dead late Wednesday morning at her home, the Snowden house at Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas.

The preliminary report suggests she was stabbed to death. Her apparent assailant who broke into the house was Travis Lewis. He had been paroled from prison after serving a long sentence for the double murder of McKay’s mother, Sally McKay, and her first cousin Lee Baker.

According to Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen, Lewis was 17 when he pleaded guilty to the 1996 Horseshoe Lake murders.

He was charged as an adult for the murders and paroled in 2018. Allen claimed that deputies responded to an alarm triggered by Martha at the historical Snowden House.

He said that two of the deputies that came found an open back door, and when they cleared the house, they found a possible suspect.

He jumped from the window upstairs and then ran to a vehicle, which he proceeded to drive across the yard. The suspect then jumped from the vehicle and ran and jumped into the lake. He was supposedly observed going underneath the waves, but he did not come back up.

Rescue teams from the sheriff’s department and Arkansas Game and Fish allegedly used Sonar equipment to find and recover the body of Lewis. Allen identified the body of the woman found deceased within the Snowden House as that of Martha McKay.

Dottie Jones of Memphis, a first cousin of the deceased, confirmed some details on the matter. She claimed that her cousin had befriended Lewis when he was in prison and even when he went on parole.

The members of the family had opposed the capital sentencing during the time of his conviction in 1996. After the double murder, Lewis then set fire to the house.

Neighbors that asked not to be identified reported that deputies told them McKay had been stabbed, though others stated that a hammer was the murder weapon.

The events on Wednesday are going to open wounds that still remain fresh in the minds of the friends and relatives who recall the murders that happened in 1996.

The murders made the property infamous, and it is hard to fathom that the same murderer came back to kill another member of the family.

Lewis, who lived at Horseshoe Lake and whose parents lived on the property, pleaded guilty to the two murders on April 7, 1998. He was then sentenced to 28 and a half years, though the families felt it would be traumatic to go through a trial.

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