Comal County makes arrests after more than 30 years in Canyon Lake cold case

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Comal County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men in a murder investigation that is more than 30 years old.

Officials said 56-year-old Charles Robert Hardin was murdered in 1986 at Jacob’s Creek Park near Canyon Lake, but no leads were found and the investigation went cold.

The sheriff’s office said the Texas Rangers were asked to assist in reopening the case in March of this year and evidence was resubmitted to the DPS Crime Laboratory in Austin for additional forensic testing and 56-year-old Tracey Keith Loy, of St. George, Utah, and 57-year-old Mark Gatten, of Quaker City, Ohio, were identified as suspects.

Officials said Loy was interviewed by Texas Rangers on May 9 and was subsequently arrested on murder charges then extradited to Texas on May 31. He is currently being held in the Comal County Jail on $80,000 bond.

An arrest warrant was issued for Gatten on May 26 and officials report he awaits extradition to Texas.

The Texas Rangers, St. George Police Department, Utah State Bureau of Investigation, Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation all assisted the Comal County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.

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