Graham County double murder suspect died of self-inflicted gunshot wound

GRAHAM COUNTY, Kan. Update Jan 6

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) says Efren Mascarenas, Jr., the man wanted in connection with a double murder in Graham County, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

KBI officials identified Efren Mascarenas, Sr. and Christin Cantrell as the victims found dead at a home in the 2700 block of 170th Ave. in Penokee, Kan.

Both lived with 29-year-old Efren Mascarenas, Jr.

Efren Mascarenas, Sr. was his father, and Cantrell was his step-sister.

The KBI told Eyewitness News Mascarenass was found dead in northeast Graham County.

After a preliminary autopsy, investigators say it is likely he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The investigation is on-going.


Update: Jan. 5 - 4:30 p.m.

Family members have identified the victims a double homicide in Graham County as Efren Mascaranas, Sr. and Christin Cantrell.

The KBI says the bodies of Mascarenas, Sr. and Christian Cantrell were found in a rural home west of Hill City.

Efren Mascarenas, Jr., 29, was identified as the suspect in the case.

Police knew he had escaped in a blue Dodge Charger and had indication he was still in the area.

Mascarenas was considered armed and dangerous, and police warned all residents in northeast Graham County to shelter at place and to lock all doors until he was located.

The KBI said Mascarenass was found dead in northeast Graham County last night.

Those who know the family and victims say the deaths of their loved ones come as a shock.

"They are in my thoughts and prayers i love that whole family to death, if theres anything any of us can do i just want her to know, to reach out and that we are here to help," sad Jared Keas, an acquaintance of the family.

Eyewitness News spoke with the wife of Efren, Sr. she said she shared a home with her husband, her daughter Christall, her grandchildren and Efren, Jr.

Update: Jan. 5 - 2 p.m.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Graham County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the murders of two individuals which occurred yesterday in Graham County, Kan.

The KBI says a Graham County Sheriff's deputies responding to a 911 call around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4 in the 2700 block of 170th Ave. in Penokee, Kan.

Upon arrival, deputies found a man and woman dead.

Efren Mascarenas, Jr., 29, was identified as a subject of interest was in the case

After a search by several agencies, he was found dead Thursday night in northeast Graham County.

The KBI says there is no longer any threat to the public related to this incident.

The names of the deceased will be released after positive identifications are made and all next of kin are notified.

Update: Jan 5 - 10 a.m.

The Decatur County Sheriff's Office says Efren Mascarenas, Jr., the man wanted in connection with double murder in Graham County has been found dead.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News on-air and online for the latest.

Update 5 a.m.

Eyewitness News has learned deputies from several counties are now on foot combing the area north of Hays for any sign of Mascarenas.

Authorities found the vehicle he was known to be driving late Thursday night. He was nowhere to be found.

Investigators say the vehicle he left behind was one of the victim's cars.

Deputies believe Mascarenas is in the area and dangerous. They have told residents in the area of the search to lock their doors and stay inside.

“As of now, we have two crime scenes we have the one that out west and one that's up north with the vehicle we were looking for.”

Eyewitness News has learned the names of the two people who were murdered. We have decided not to provide that information until police have had an opportunity to contact family members.

Officials will continue searching for Mascarenas in the county. We are told some officers were pulled from the search to assist with calls.

Phillips County, Norton County and Graham County schools have classes today.

Update 10 p.m.:

Graham County Sheriff Cole Presley tells us Efren Lloyd Mascarenas Jr. is a "person of interest" in connection with the double murder reported in the county, near Hill City.

The search for him continues and he's considered armed and dangerous. Presley says a vehicle matching the description of the car Mascarenas was last seen driving has been found. A perimeter has been established northeast of Hill City.

As the search for Mascarenas continues, Presley says residents in northeast Graham County, southeast Norton County and southwest Phillips County should lock their doors, make sure there are no keys left in vehicles, remain inside and call 911 immediately if they see anything suspicious.


Update 8 p.m.:

The Kansas Highway Patrol tells us the vehicle double-murder suspect Efren Lloyd Mascarenas Jr. is suspected of driving has been spotted, but that car and Mascarenas remain at-large.


Update 7:25 p.m.:

Authorities in Western Kansas identify Efren Lloyd Mascarenas Jr. as a suspect in a double murder reported in Graham County.

Mascarenas stands about 5'2 and weighs about 130 pounds. He's described as having black hair and brown and is last known to be driving a blue 2005 Dodge Charger with a broken passenger-side mirror.

Mascarenas may be in the northeast corner of the county or in northern Rooks County, the sheriff's office for neighboring Phillips County says.

The Phillips County Sheriff's Office says its residents south of K-9 should secure their vehicles and homes and stay inside.

"Do not interfere with law enforcement movements or attempt to apprehend anyone. Call 911 to report suspicious activity," the sheriff's office says.


The Graham County Sheriff's Office Thursday says a call about an unresponsive man has led to an investigation into a possible double homicide.

The sheriff's office says the call was made about 3:30 p.m. to rural Graham County.

"When EMS and officers arrived, it was apparent that a double homicide had occurred," the sheriff's office says.

The Graham County Sheriff's Office, Hill City Police Department and the KBI are among the agencies investigating.