Police searching landfill for evidence in Lincoln man’s death, suspect in custody for another murder

Human remains found near northwest Lincoln motel last week identified.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 12:29 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 4:19 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Police have identified the man found dead near a northwest Lincoln motel last week, and the prime suspect in the homicide investigation is already in custody for a separate murder.

Police said 49-year-old Ronnie Patz is the man whose body was found near NW 12th Street and West Bond the morning of Sept. 1. DNA had to be used to make a positive identification. Police said Patz was last seen checking into a Motel 6 on Aug. 29 with 55-year-old William Wright.

Wright is in custody for the second degree murder of 61-year-old Ronald George, Jr. His body was found near 3rd and P Streets on Aug. 31.

Police believe the two incidents are related. Additional charges against Wright are pending in the death of Patz.

Police said Wright discarded a bag of items in a dumpster near the motel but a refuse company picked up the trash and took it to the City of Lincoln landfill.

“You’re going to see several members of our crime scene investigators outside that landfill working to systematically go through the items to locate items of interest,” Assistant Chief Jason Stille said. “We haven’t undergone something of this magnitude for some time,” Stille said.

Police are asking the public to avoid the landfill area during this active investigation.

Here is a timeline of the investigation:

  • Monday, Aug. 29th between 2:30 - 8:30 p.m. Ronnie Patz killed
  • Tuesday, Aug. 30th 9 p.m. - Wednesday, Aug. 31st 2 a.m. Ronald George, Jr. killed
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31st 2 a.m. Body of Ronald George, Jr. found near 3rd & P Streets
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31st 9 p.m. William Wright taken into custody and arrested for second degree murder of Ronald George, Jr.
  • Early Thursday morning, Sept. 1 Patz’ body found near NW 12th Street and West Bond
William Wright was arrested in connection a homicide in Lincoln Wednesday.
William Wright was arrested in connection a homicide in Lincoln Wednesday.(KOLN)