September 28, 1984, the badly decomposed bodies of John Robert Buckels (38) and Janis Petkas McMahan (37) both of Houston were found along Old Hwy 105 near Cleveland in Montgomery County. They both had died of gunshot wounds. Sheriff’s Office detectives in 1984 conducted interviews and followed numerous leads throughout the course of the investigation. While the detectives worked many hours and developed suspect information all efforts to solve the case were unsuccessful. During the initial investigation blood evidence was discovered and collected by the Houston Police Department but technology of the time did not allow for the type of forensic testing that is available today. That blood evidence remained stored in the Houston Crime Lab for nearly 25 years.
In July of 2009, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Detectives re-opened the murder investigation and located the evidence stored at the Houston Police Department. Using grant funds made available to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office through the National Institute of Justice, DNA testing was applied to the evidence. DNA analysis linked a suspect that had been identified in 1984 with the murders.
In the pursuit of justice and with the full confidence of Sheriff Tommy Gage and support from the District Attorney’s Office the investigation pushed forward with detectives tracking down witnesses across Texas and in Florida. The efforts cumulated into the arrest of Seldon Wayne Colvin (58) on June 2, 2010, at the parole office in Pasadena, Texas after a Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted him on murder and capital murder charges.
Colvin has a lengthy past including several prior robberies dating back to 1977.