MAYPEARL, Texas (AP) – A teen who stole medication and a cache of weapons and ammunition from his parents’ home in Oklahoma had a history of running away, but authorities still don’t know why he and a friend may have been trying to break into a Texas home where they ultimately died after a botched break-in.
Authorities believe Kenneth Chaffin, 17, ran away from his home in Bethel Acres, Okla., on Monday. A national alert was issued Wednesday morning. That afternoon, Chaffin and friend Dillian King, 18, died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds 250 miles away from Bethel Acres on a remote ranch in Maypearl, Texas, authorities said.
A woman at the home noticed someone in a camouflage vest at her back door on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. She called her husband, who came home and fired at the teens with two deer rifles, hitting one. By the time Ellis County sheriff’s deputies arrived, both teens were dead.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown said he was still waiting for confirmation from the Dallas County Medical Examiner, where the autopsies are being done, but did not expect to file any charges.
Brown said his deputies were still trying to figure out why the teenagers would have chosen that home, which is about 40 miles south of Dallas and located in the middle of a fenced-off ranch with donkeys grazing outside. Bullet holes riddle the walls of the home, Brown said.
“Unfortunately, the answers to those questions died when they did, because we don’t have a clue why they were out there in that area,” Brown said in an interview Thursday. “It’s beyond me why they would be that far out other than they were looking to take something, or do harm.”
Chaffin and King were driving a 1991 Ford Ranger pickup truck and had a stash of prescription medication, 17 guns and 2,000 rounds of ammunition. It wasn’t immediately known what kind of medication they had.
Pottawatomie County, Okla., Undersheriff J.T. Palmer said Thursday that Chaffin had a history of running away.
“We were taking a calculated risk of violating state law in putting (Chaffin’s) name out,” Palmer said. “We had to get mom and dad’s written permission to even release his picture yesterday and we did that in a time frame as quick as we thought we could.
“You don’t want to jump too quick. He’s a runaway and he has a history of running away before.”
Palmer said Chaffin and King were identified through photographs and because King had distinctive tattoos on the webbing of his fingers.
The teens lived about a mile apart in Bethel Acres but authorities had no idea the two were together when Chaffin was reported missing, Palmer said, adding that King was not reported missing.
“We didn’t actually know there was a second one until we got the call from Ellis County, Texas, that two suspects were killed,” Palmer said.
Chaffin’s father, Roland Chaffin, told The Oklahoman that his son had never been in trouble with the law and had no family problems before he ran away.
“Kenneth was a follower, not a leader. That’s what we figure. He followed someone and got in over his head,” Roland Chaffin said.
Phone calls to the teens’ families by The Associated Press were not answered.
“My son’s not an angel. I’m not saying that he is,” Roland Chaffin told the newspaper. “But the Kenneth we know was not capable of this.”
Associated Press writers Justin Juozapavicius in Tulsa, Okla., Ken Miller in Oklahoma City, Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Ark., and Terry Wallace in Dallas contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon