David Paul Searles was from the Pine Barrens in NJ, USA. He grew up frolicking and discovering the woods that surrounded him, which is where his love of nature and primitive skills began. The woods provided David with an outlet to escape the difficulties of his childhood, they comforted him and provided him with solace and companionship. As an adult, David attempted to homestead for 15 years before he was finally able to fulfill his dream. His first attempts were short lived and always ended without success. Finally, though, David was able to purchase 14 acres of virgin land in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, USA, and settled into living out his lifelong dream.
Over the span of five years he cultivated a friendship with a young man named Justin Kent. David and Justin worked together homesteading David’s land; they shared meals, explored the surrounding mountains, and had started to plan out how to add horse trails and a horse to the land. Their friendship was progressing in a typical manner of discovery, mutual interests, and shared intimacy until Easter Sunday 2010. Justin arrived on David’s land that afternoon to help David finish roofing the cabin, they got into an argument over a lead on a horse Justin thought he and David could acquire, Justin waited for David to go to sleep that evening, retrieved David’s .22 rifle, and Justin shot David in the crown of his head.
These images are of the week preceding the murder.