New developments in mysterious death of Mid-South millionaire

(WMC-TV) - There have been major developments in the case of a Tunica millionaire who turned up dead after a while weekend at the lake.

At first, investigators believed it may have been natural causes, but now they are investigating a homicide, and the millionaire's daughter has put up $25,000 in reward money.

For months, Amery Ewing has believed someone murdered her multi-millionaire father. Now, police suspect the same.

"It just hangs over us," she said. "You can't move forward until you have some kind of closure."

Charles Ewing's Cadillac was pulled out of Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas last May. His body was discovered floating 60 feet away, just outside the hotel where he was staying.

No one seems to know he ended up in the water.

"It's devastating and debilitating," said his daughter, Amery.

Ewing, a Tunica businessman in his fifties, went to Hot Springs with two women in their twenties. Witnesses said it was a wild few days with wild spending on cars, trips to massage parlors, strip clubs and boat rentals.

Amery Ewing has gone to Hot Springs looking for answers.

"This is more than just a murder involved," she said. "There are multiple burglaries, thefts (and) grand larceny."

Crimes that go from Hot Springs to Tunica to DeSoto County.

"It's pretty strange," DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco said. "Mr. Ewing was known to carry quire a sum of money on him at all times."

Witnesses said Ewing flashed that money - stuffed in a bag - to just about everyone he saw: car dealers, boat dealers and to people in Tunica and DeSoto County.

A couple of months before Ewing was discovered dead in Hot Springs, there was a theft at his home in DeSoto County. He had a camper outside, and it was stolen from the property. That stolen camper ended up in Eudora at a car wash about three miles from Ewing's home. It had a for sale sign on it.

The DeSoto County Sheriff's Department charged Phillip and Jessica Dawn IshamI with the theft. Amery Ewing says they knew her father.

Then, on the day of Charles Ewing's murder - or the day after, it is not clear - someone broke into Ewing's home in Tunica and rifled through papers in his bedroom.

Many of the items ended up burned in his driveway.

Rasco said his department plans to work with investigators in Tunica and Hot Springs to see if they can assist each other in these investigations.

"It's a lot of unanswered questions...just don't point in the right direction," he said.

Meanwhile, Amery Ewing says she will not give up her mission to find out how her father ended up dead in Lake Hamilton.

"We are not going to drop it," she said. "My brother and I will continue to look for whomever is responsible for all the crimes that have surrounded my father's death."

Ewing was engaged at the time of his death, but his fiance did not go with him or the two other women to Hot Springs. That fiance married someone else just days after Ewing died. Her attorney insists she had nothing to do with Ewing's death.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.