Suspended officer with ties to Samantha Dean identified
AUSTIN -- The Austin police officer on leave due to his ties with 29-year-old Samantha Dean, found dead in Bastrop County last week, was identified Friday as Officer VonTrey Clark.
Multiple law enforcement sources in Travis and Bastrop counties said Clark, 31, has been questioned about his ties to Dean, who was seven months pregnant and was found dead with three gunshot wounds to the head on Feb. 4 by a Bastrop County deputy in an abandoned parking lot.
Clark, who has been on the force since 2012, was placed on paid leave immediately after Dean's death. Law enforcement sources are awaiting the results of a paternity test to determine whether Clark fathered Dean's unborn daughter, Madeline.
According to Austin Police Department records obtained by KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman, Clark has received consistently high marks from supervisors during his three years at APD. In performance evaluations from the past two years, sergeants said Clark "handles calls with little needed guidance" and has demonstrated "quick thinking an innovation on numerous calls."
The records state Clark has used force multiple times, but it was always justified.
Records show Clark was also suspended for three days in February 2013 after losing control of his police car while trying to catch someone who ran a stop sign.
Detectives are also questioning other Central Texas law enforcement authorities about their ties to Dean, who worked as a victims services coordinator for the Kyle Police Department.
Officials with the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office said in a warrant that the scene where Dean's body was found in Bastrop appeared to have been staged or modified, and investigators do not know the exact location of the murder.
Investigators have not named any potential suspects in the case.