2012 started quietly for Brown County, until March 12. The first murder the Heartland would see took place at Early Donuts on March 12.
47-year-old Eduardo Lopez was shot and killed by 33-year-old Rene Torres Pinon.
"The suspect walked away very calm, got into his car, and drove away," said Early Chief of Police David Mercer. Pinon was sentenced to 40 years in prison in October.
Brown County witnessed its second murder of the year in July.
This time, three people and two dogs were shot and killed.
On July 29, 58-year-old Charles Ronald Conner shot and killed his neighbors and their two dogs at the Peach House RV Park in Early.
Charles Conner was shot dead after getting into a gun fight with a police officer and an armed citizen.
That resident, Vic Stacy, is hailed as a good Samaritan.
"Brown asked me, he said 'Are you going to shoot at him?' I said, 'I sure am when I get a good shot,'" said Stacy.
That entire ordeal started as an argument over the neighbors dogs using the restroom in Conner's yard. Officer Steven Means and Vic Stacy were no billed on October 18.
"Relieved at the whole thing. I've been sitting here all tensed up about the thing, you know, now it's over with, we can go on with our lives and do whatever we want to do," said Stacy.
Two months later, the Heartland was searching for one of their own. 38-year-old Michele Reiter of Brownwood went missing on September 11.
Only two weeks later, human remains were found in Coleman County.
"Several law enforcement agencies responded to a remote location in Coleman County. We did find the remains of a female body. We believe that to be Michele," said Brownwood Chief of Police Mike Corley.
Autopsy results later confirmed the body was Reiter's. Lanny Bush, her ex-boyfriend, is a suspect in Reiter's disappearance and death. He is behind bars in Tom Green County on a charge of online impersonation.
Texas Rangers said Bush admitted in a recorded statement to creating a false Facebook page with intent to harm Michele Reiter.