OGDEN, N.Y. (WROC) — Two relatives of a Parma man who was killed earlier this year were taken into custody and charged Friday.
William Mason, 69, was last seen on on the morning of May 25 near his home in the Town of Parma. After an exhaustive search effort, police discovered human remains in a fire pit near his home.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner identified those remains as Mason’s and the missing persons case turned into a murder investigation.
Two step-children of Mason’s were taken into custody Friday: 43-year-old Lance Mitchel and 46-year-old Dawn Mitchel.
Lance Mitchel is charged with second degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and concealment of a corpse. He is being held at the Monroe County Jail on no bail.
Dawn Mitchel is charged with tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a corpse. Her bail was set at $150,000 cash, $500,000 bond, and $1 million partially secured.
Both of them pleaded not guilty to all charges at their arraignment.
“Obviously this is a more complex situation because it does involve family members so I think you could see the emotion in the court room because these people were known to each other, ” Sara Van Strydonck, Monroe County District Attorney said. “They are not strangers, this is not something you’d see like that, these are all people that were intimate with each other.”
“Certainly, she’s very upset what happened to him,” said Teo Siguenza, Defense Attorney for Dawn Mitchel. “She had nothing to do with anything that may have happened to the gentleman, she’s been very clear about that and she shared that with myself and even the DA’s office.
“I think if there was concrete proof my client had anything to do with it, they would have shared that with the court certainly,” Siguenza said.
“We are maintaining our innocence, we don’t know how Mr. Mason ended up in that fire pit,” added Frank Ciardi, Defense Attorney for Lance Mitchel. “But to now come three months later and make accusations, it looks like to me, someone is perhaps grasping at straws.”
Police responded to a home on Trimmer Road in Spencerport Friday morning after the arrest warrants were issued. The last time police responded to a Trimmer Road home was in June to execute a search warrant in connection to the death of Mason.
“His family’s been around town for, you know, a hundred some years… I went to high school with him and he was a star athlete. All us younger kids used to look up to him,” Buck Ades who lived nearby and knew Mason said. “I was surprised, that something like this could happen. I guess it happens all over the country, it could happen here.”
In late May, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, along with multiple local fire departments, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit and the Massasauga Search and Rescue Team launched an exhaustive search effort of Mason’s property and the surrounding area.
Shortly thereafter, officials say the investigation was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Section, which began tracking and developing leads. Their involvement led to the execution of a number of search warrants being executed, including an extensive search of the home at 592 Trimmer Road, and Mason’s West Ridge Road property.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.