Rumors addressed; cause of death reported in Martin investigation

In an effort to quiet rumors surrounding the ongoing investigation in the death of Wilmar resident Marquis Martin, the Tenth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office released the official cause of death in the case.
According to the State Crime Lab medical examiner report, the cause of death was a gunshot wound with the manner being listed as a homicide. As rumors took over social media, speculation over the cause of death, along with suspects in the case grew. 
“A lot was put out there on social media,” said Drew County Sheriff Mark Gober. “Speculation about myself and my family, along with death threats.”
Rumors began swirling about Gober and his children being involved in the death before Martin was found and grew from there. 
“A political opponent and former employee made a post,” said Gober about how the rumors began. “He wanted to make a murder investigation a political issue. Say what you want about me but leave my kids out of it.”
According to Gober the case is unique with no witnesses, Martin not being found for a month and no crime scene. 
Marquis was last seen on video surveillance Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Murphy USA gas station in Monticello shortly after leaving work at the local McDonald’s. Marquis was then believed to have left Murphy’s and was driven to his home in Wilmar and dropped off at his residence. He was reported missing to the Drew County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, Feb. 11. On Saturday, March 7, at approximately 7:05 a.m. his body was discovered in a creek just north of Wilmar on State Highway 35.  An autopsy was conducted by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory days later. 
Martin grew up in the halls of Drew Central Schools and returned as a paraprofessional in the Special Education Consortium on Drew Central Campus a few years after graduation. According to Trudy Jackson, Drew Central Elementary School principal, Martin brought an infectious smile and personality to the school and would mentor the students in In School Suspension during his lunch and breaks throughout the day. She said he spent a few days over there.
“He would mentor those children that were over there and talk to them about making better choices and making something of themselves in their lives,” said Jackson. “He is a hard worker. He did a senior project with Sylvia Ngar, when he did his Senior Project he worked with her and the special needs kids in the consortium and he fell in love with those kids. He got the opportunity to come back and work with those kids every day and he is making a difference in their lives. I pray to God that he will have that chance again. Just know that you are in my prayers and all of Drew Central has you in our prayers because you are our family, he is our family and we are family at Drew Central.”
Wilmar Mayor Toni Perry has been supporting the family from the beginning because, according to her, Martin is all of Wilmar’s.
“Mac Daddy is all our children,” said Perry. “All the little kids, the same thing that has happened to your child, the same love I have for Mac, I have for every child in Wilmar, Arkansas and almost every child in Drew County. Because I stay at Drew Central. These are our children and we live in a world that takes us through things we never even thought we would have to go through.”
“I experienced his love when he came to church,” continued Perry, “and he never walked in that door and not hug. That boy is full of love and if we could love half as much as him we would be having it going on in Wilmar.” 
The DCSO is still actively investigating the death of Martin. Anyone with information regarding his death is urged to contact the Drew County Sheriff’s Department at 870-367-6211 or Arkansas State Police 870-226-3713. A reward is still being offered for information.

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