A 28-Year-Old Texas Man Is a Person of Interest in the Death of His Parents, Officials Say

Mike Scarlett and his 68-year-old wife were found dead in their Joshua, Tex., home. Scarlett was a well-known actor and writer in the independent film scene

Mike Scarlett and Kay Scarlett
Mike Scarlett and Kay Scarlett. Photo: Facebook

Mike Scarlett was a well-known writer and actor in the indie film industry in Texas. Over the years, he entered half a dozen short films in the Rack Focus Film Competition.

Scarlett, 66, had plans to debut his latest 10-minute film, "The Cabin," at Rack Focus Film Competition at Richardson's Studio Movie Grill on Oct. 9.

But he never got the chance.

Three days earlier, on Oct. 6, Scarlett and his 68-year-old wife Kay were found dead in their Joshua, Tex., home after family members asked police to check on the couple.

Both died from multiple shotgun wounds, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. Their deaths have been ruled a homicide.

The following day, the couple's truck was found in the parking lot of Texas Health Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth.

The couple's 28-year-old son Samuel Paul Scarlett was in "possession of the truck belonging to the victims and possibly left the scene of the crime in the vehicle, " according to a Johnson County Sheriff's Office press release obtained by PEOPLE.

He was arrested inside the hospital for felony unauthorized use of a vehicle.

The sheriff's office said he is "a person of interest in the double murder investigation," the press release states. "JCSO detectives are working on many leads in this case as the investigation continues."

Johnson County Jail Book-In Photo of Samuel Paul Scarlett
Johnson County Jail

Israel Luna, the founder of Rack Focus Film Competition, told PEOPLE he last texted with Mike Scarlett about a week before the slaying.

"He was excited about coming to the screening," he says. "He had confirmed with me that they were going to attend, and that's the last communication I had with him."

Luna says Scarlett's film, "The Cabin," is about a man grieving his wife's death.

He also wrote a song for the film called, Down in the Valley. He and his wife Kay performed the song in the film.

"The very ironic thing about the whole thing is he's the only actor in it with the voice of his wife in it as well," says Luna. "They sang together about how much they loved each other. Just heart-wrenching."

Luna says Scarlett was really proud of the film and prior to his death was pushing him to start a new category for Best Song or Best Music.

After Scarlett's death, Luna says he started the new award category. "I'm calling it the Mike Scarlett Award," he says.

Luna says that after Scarlett's death, they still decided to screen his film at the competition where Scarlett posthumously won two awards.

"He won Best Actor and the other one was the one that I created in honor of him, which was the Best Music and Score. It was well deserved too," Luna says.

Scarlett, he says, always gave it his all.

"I don't think he was doing it to end up in Hollywood," he says. "He was doing it because he loved to do it. He would cast a lot of his friends and family. He would get write ups in local papers because he would go to these abandoned towns or western towns and shoot. He loved just being artistic, expressing his art and having it shown to people."

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"He was just very giving, very sweet. He and his wife were just very soft spoken and fun. It was really really sad when I heard the news."

Samuel Paul Scarlett is currently being held at Johnson County Jail on a $100,000 bond. It is unclear if he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

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