At about 9:45 p.m. on July 6, 1952, Patrol Inspector in Charge Edwin H. Wheeler was involved in a head-on auto collision on Highway 59 near a bridge spanning the Nueces River approximately four miles south of Mathis, Texas, in San Patricio County. Inspector Wheeler was in a government automobile traveling in a southerly direction after having been in Mathis on official business. The government automobile collided with an automobile driven by Milton Mareth, who was hospitalized with a fractured left arm. Three other passengers with Mareth received superficial cuts and bruises. Shortly after the accident, Inspector Wheeler's body was discovered lying on the front seat of the automobile, which had traveled over 400 feet beyond the point of original impact. His body was positioned as though it had fallen from behind the steering wheel, giving the appearance that he had been driving the automobile. Inspector Wheeler was pronounced dead by a nurse who stopped at the scene of the accident. The body was removed to a mortuary in Alice, Texas, where, at 1:30 p.m. the following day, a bullet hole was discovered in Inspector Wheeler's head. An autopsy performed on July 7, 1952, revealed death was instantaneous from a bullet wound in the head above the right ear. Investigation into various aspects of the case led to the conclusion that Inspector Wheeler was shot to death by an unknown person or persons.