HENDERSON, Nev. — Those that knew Josh Dufort described him as a great guy. Family and friends alike remember him as a happy and optimistic person, and they eagerly await the day that his murderer is found and brought to justice.
Dufort, 23, was found dead in Henderson, Nev. on November 8, 2010. His body had been found by a jogger. Dufort had been strangled and there was evidence of multiple blunt force trauma to the head.
It’s been more than three years since his death and there have been no arrests.
The Dansville, Mich. native relocated to Las Vegas approximately four years before he was murdered to pursue his dream of acting. He landed bit roles in two movies, had roles in a few Las Vegas shows and was passionate about acting.
Dufort had many diverse interests from medieval role playing to boxing. Because he aspired to become a full-time actor, boxing was a sport that he had to be careful about since he didn’t want to mar his looks.
He liked to work out. He was going to try to box out there (Las Vegas), the ultimate fighting stuff, but he didn’t dare do it because if you’re beat up on Saturday you can’t model and act on Monday because your face is all beat up.
His interest in boxing might be a key factor in unraveling who was responsible for his death.
There was some type of relationship between Josh Dufort and a former welterweight champion boxer, Don Juan W. Futrell. Some say the two knew each other well yet other friends of Dufort say they met Futrell once or twice.
It is widely believed that Futrell applied for two life insurance policies for Dufort that named Futrell as the beneficiary.
One insurance policy was issued with an effective date of May 18, 2010. Only months later Dufort was beaten to death. On Dec. 29 Futrell submitted a “proof of death claimant’s statement” to American General Life Insurance Co., seeking his nearly $1 million dollar payout as the beneficiary of the policy.
In June 2011, American General Life Insurance Co. filed a lawsuit against Don Juan W. Futrell. The insurance company claimed that Futrell fraudulently purchased the policy, they denied the payout and returned any premiums paid.
According to 8 News now, the total payout to the beneficiary for both policies was nearly $2 million dollars.
Both insurance applications falsely claim that Dufort had an annual salary of $180,000 working for a company that Futrell and Dufort supposedly jointly owned. Dufort, according to the insurance application made his lucrative living selling t-Shirts on the Las Vegas strip.
Family and friends say that Josh Dufort never made that much money in his entire life.
Court records indicate Dufort did obtain physical exams required by the companies, but the possibility has been raised that Dufort was somehow tricked into going for the exam and falsely believed it was required for health insurance.
Another interesting point was that the phone used to apply for one of the policies was connected to Futrell who allegedly passed himself off as Dufort.
Strangely, Futrell claimed that he and Dufort were domestic partners yet the former welterweight champion, who had his boxing title stripped due to inactivity, has five sons. The Futrell boys, known simply as Futrell, are a singing group managed by their father.
The family of Josh Dufort has filed a wrongful death death, according to 8 News Now, and Don Juan W. Futrell is named in the lawsuit. Both the police and Dufort’s family have long suspected that Futrell was involved in the death of Josh Dufort, however he has not been arrested in connection with the case or charged with any type of insurance fraud.
The investigation into the murder of Josh Dufort remains open.
Please contact the Henderson Police Department at 702-267-4750 if you have information on the murder of Josh Dufort. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 702- 385-5555 or visit www.CrimeStoppersOfNV.com.