Lyon County sheriff's investigators are still hunting for a man they believe shot a Bend, Ore., trucker at short range Jan. 9 with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Pictures of the victim, 50-year-old Roger Kelly, the murder weapon and a composite sketch of a man wanted for questioning were released this week in hopes they might produce leads.
"We are trying to place him with someone else in the last week of his life," said Lyon County Sgt. John Arndell. "We are finding that he was kind of a loner on the road. And we don't think there is a drug connection."
Arndell said investigators did a full search of the truck with a drug-sniffing dog to ensure that Kelly was not involved in drugs.
After retracing Kelly's path from Rock Springs, Wyo., to Wells and Fernley, investigators have yet to find evidence of any questionable associations or motive for the killing.
Kelly was killed in the parking lot of the Best Western Fernley Inn sometime around 9 p.m. Investigators think he was working in the engine compartment of his tractor-truck. "The wrench was still on the bolt when we found him," Arndell said.
A modified shotgun was found in the area and determined to be the murder weapon. Arndell said that amateurish welds on the gun make it unique and easily identifiable to someone who may have seen it. Arndell said physical evidence "was taken off the gun and at the scene," but those findings will remain confidential until a suspect is identified.
Using Kelly's log book as reference and questioning merchants along the way, Arndell's investigators discerned that Kelly may have done some gambling in Wells on Saturday. There has been no established link between the gambling and the murder.
Arndell said investigators are also looking at random robbery and road rage as possible motives in the killing.