• Delia Owens, her ex-husband and his son are wanted for interrogation in Zambia
  • They are allegedly responsible for killing a poacher and disposing of his body in 1996
  • Famed author's book, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” has sold 12 mn copies worldwide

“Where the Crawdads Sing” author Delia Owens is wanted for questioning in Zambia over an unsolved murder case that took place in the mid-1990s.

The Criminal Investigation Department of the Zambian national police has confirmed that the famed author, her then-husband Mark Owens, and his adult son from his first marriage, Christopher Owens, are all wanted for interrogation as possible witnesses, co-conspirators, and accessories not only to the murder case but also to other related crimes in the African region.

The controversy surrounding Owens and her family started in 1996 when an ABC News documentary titled “Deadly Game: The Mark and Delia Owens Story” showed the murder of a poacher by an animal-loving American family. The documentary did not identify the name of the shooter or the victim at the time.

The cameraman who filmed the killing, Chris Everson, later told writer Jeffrey Goldberg that it was Christopher who shot the poacher to death. A police detective in charge of the probe also determined that Mark disposed of the body in a nearby lagoon using his helicopter. However, the investigation was stalled because the body was never found.

The Owens Family also fled the country soon after the ABC documentary aired.

In a statement to Atlantic, Zambia’s head of public prosecutions said Delia is not exempt from the investigation. “There is no statute of limitations on murder in Zambia. They are all wanted for questioning in this case, including Delia Owens,” he said.

The Owens Family had been conservationists since the 1970s known to encourage a culture of violence in rescuing animals, according to The Atlantic. Sources also revealed that the family would hire scouts to torture and get rid of poachers who crossed their territory, with Mark even once bragging about killing poachers.

In an interview with The New Yorker in 2010, Delia denied having anything to do with the murders. “We don’t know anything about it,” she told the publication. “The only thing that Mark ever did was throw firecrackers out of his plane, but just to scare poachers, not to hurt anyone.”

Asked about the letter in which Mark bragged about murdering poachers on his watch, the author said, “Why don’t you understand that we’re good people? We were just trying to help.”

Delia’s book, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” has sold 12 million copies worldwide and is the inspiration for the upcoming Sony film with the same name starring Reese Witherspoon.

Representation. A police line. ValynPi14/Pixabay