Warden Michael Pauling was killed after being dragged alongside a vehicle which sped away as he was talking to the driver.

He had stopped to investigate a couple who were involved in a disturbance in a vehicle on the shoulder of Highway 74 near Port Arthur, Texas at approximately 0030 hours. Warden Pauling had the female participant wait in his department pickup truck while he returned to the vehicle to check on the welfare of the woman’s children. The male suddenly sped away, dragging Warden Pauling alongside the vehicle.

The female participant, driving Warden Pauling’s vehicle, then began following the car dragging him. When Warden Pauling fell from the vehicle he was struck by the female participant, who had called 911 on her cell phone reporting the incident. The male suspect turned himself in and was charged with capital murder.

On September 20, 2002, the suspect was sentenced to 55 years and fined $10,000 for Warden Pauling’s murder.

Warden Pauling was a U.S. Army veteran and had been with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for five years.

He is survived by his wife, two sons, and parents.