Arrest affidavit in Newton double murder gives few new details

NEWTON, Kan. (KWCH) UPDATE 10/12/17 9:15 a.m

We have obtained the probable cause affidavit in the case against Keith Hawkins, it provides new details about what lead to Hawkins arrest.

He is accused of killing Alyssa Runyon and her daughter Zaylynn Paz.

Probable cause affidavits detail what information police had to lead them to arrest a suspect in a case. They are public information and often give us an idea into the police side of the story. That's why Eyewitness News fights to have them released when attorneys attempt to have them sealed.

Eyewitness News fought for this affidavit and we did obtain it with some heavy redactions. The redactions leave a document with little new information but does reiterate some basic facts we've been told about the case.

The affidavit says on the morning of August 8th, someone went to the home on Roanoke Court in Newton. That person called 9-1-1 to report two murders.

Newton police say they arrived to a front door open and a child stabbed to death in a bedroom. Officers said they moved to another bedroom and found Runyon dead likely from strangulation.

Hawkins awaits trial on charges of first degree murder and capital murder.


Update -- Wednesday evening (Aug. 9): The crime scene tape has been removed from a Newton home more than a day after a mother and her four-year-old daughter were found murdered there.

Those who say they knew Alyssa Runyon and her daughter, Zaylynn, are still trying to make sense of what happened.

"She was a really good mom. She did everything she could to make sure that they were taken care of before herself. It wasn't just her kids, she did it with everybody," says friend Amanda Long.

Zaylynn's grandma was distraught when she heard the news.

"I couldn't believe that someone would hurt my little girl," said Angelica Maria Moreno-Ibarra.

Police say the little girl and her mother were killed by Keith Hawkins. He was arrested on Tuesday in Taylor, Texas.

Those who knew him say they could never have imagined he would be capable of a crime this serious.

"Everyone knew Keith really; especially if they went to the high school. He was kind of that the cool loner dude sometimes, but then again he could hang out with really big groups of friends, but he was always there if you needed someone to talk to," says Shelly Cowart.

As he awaits extradition back to Kansas, friends of the victims await closure, as they grieve along with Alyssa's family.

"We want her family to know that they're all in our prayers and that if they need anything, that they can always,...just a phone call away for most of us," says Long.

Police say there was some sort of relationship between Hawkins and Runyon but they have not released the nature of the relationship.

Police say investigators have made their way down to Texas to interview Hawkins.

The extradition to get him back into Kansas could take some time, as he will have to settle his charges in Texas before he can leave.
Update -- Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 9): A memorial has been started at the playground on Roanoke Court in memory of a mother and small child that were murdered.

Newton police and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation remain on scene where the bodies of 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and her four-year-old daughter, Zaylynn Paz were found Tuesday.

Police say they are working with the KBI to collect more evidence from the home on Roanoke Court where the mother and daughter were found. They say they hope to wrap up this part of the investigation today (Wednesday).

Police also say autopsies are being performed on Runyon and Paz. Keith Hawkins, the 19-year-old man accused of killing the mother and daughter, remains in custody in a Texas jail. We're told investigators there are questioning him and working on extraditing him back to Kansas where he is expected to face murder charges.


Update-- Wednesday morning (Aug. 9):

Keith Hawkins, the man police say killed 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and her four-year-old daughter, Zaylynn Paz, has been booked into a Texas jail.

Records from the Williamson County Jail show Hawkins, 19, was booked on charges that included unauthorized use of a vehicle, evading arrest and being a "fugitive from justice, out of state."

It's expected that Hawkins will be extradited back to Kansas to face the murder charges.


Update -- 9:41 p.m.: Newton police say early on in their investigation they determined Keith Hawkins, 19, of Florence, was a suspect in the deaths of 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and four-year-old Zaylynn Paz.

Chief Eric Murphy said around 11 a.m., they received a call about the murders. Officers arrived at the duplex located at 15 Roanoke Court to find two people dead in the home. Runyon had been strangled and her daughter was stabbed to death.

Officers also discovered that Runyon's car was missing from the home.

Initially, police believed Runyon's 6-year-old daughter was missing, but soon determined she was not a victim in this case and with other family.

An "all points bulletin" issued for the vehicle and Hawkins was sent out to several law enforcement agencies.

Police also obtained an arrest warrant from the Harvey County district court.

Murphy said Hawkins has a sister who lives in Taylor, Texas and through real-time tracking police were able to track his movements south on I-35, down through Oklahoma, and into Texas.

Murphy said with this information, he knew Newton residents were not in danger and that murders were not random. He decided not to release details on Hawkins or the vehicle he was believed to be driving.

"If he would've found out that we were tracking him, he could've changed his destination or defeated our methods of tracking him," said Murphy. "The safety of our community is very important to us."

Murphy said the tracking information was relayed to authorities in Texas. Around 5:25 p.m., Hawkins was arrested in Taylor, Texas following a short chase and crash.

The Kansas Highway Patrol, the Harvey County Sheriff's Office, law enforcement agencies in Taylor, Texas all assisted in the apprehension of Hawkins. Murphy thanked them for their help in the case.

He also offered his condolences to the families of Runyon and her daughter.

"This is a very sad situation for our community and we do grieve along with the family of these two individuals," he said. "We pray for the families of Alyssa and Zaylynn."

Murphy said residents who live on Roanoke are being allowed back into their homes. The KBI will continue to process the crime scene for a couple more days.

The State of Kansas has issued an arrest warrant for Hawkins. Murphy said they are following the normal extradition process. He said Hawkins may also face charges in Texas from trying to flee from authorities there.

He said the deaths of Runyon and her daughter are the first in several years in Newton.


Update -- 6:45 p.m.: Authorities tell the CBS-affiliate in Austin that a crash in Hutto, Texas led to the capture of 19-year-old Keith Hawkins.

Hawkins is wanted in the deaths of 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and 4-year-old Zaylynn Paz, out of Newton, Kan.

Hawkins was arrested around 5:25 Tuesday evening in Taylor, Texas.

The Hutto Police Department tells KEYE that Taylor police put out a BOLO or "be on the lookout" notice for a suspect they were chasing.

The chase went into Hutto, Texas where a police sergeant saw the suspect's vehicle and put out spike strips.

The suspect drove over the spike strips, lost control and crashed into two vehicles and into the Christian Brothers Automotive in Hutto.

The suspect, wanted for murder in Wichita Kansas, was arrested on the scene.


Update -- 6:10 p.m.: The Newton Police Department has identified the man arrested in connection with the deaths of a mother and daughter as 19-year-old Keith Hawkins.

Police say Hawkins was arrested in Taylor, Texas around 5:25 p.m.

Police say the suspect was driving the victim's vehicle when he arrived at a family member's residence.


Update -- 5:42 p.m.: The Newton Police Chief says an arrest has been made in connection to the deaths of Alyssa Runyon and Zaylynn Paz.

The cheif says the suspect was arrested in Taylor, Texas. Right now, they are not releasing his name.

More information will be available around 8:00 p.m.

Update -- 4:51 p.m.: Newton police have identified a mother and daughter found murdered in a Newton home Tuesday afternoon.

Chief Eric Murphy says 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and four-year-old Zaylynn Paz are the victims.

He says investigators believe Runyon's cause of death was strangulation. Zaylynn was stabbed to death.

Murphy says Runyon's ex-boyfriend went the home on Roanoke Court to check on her Tuesday morning after he said she was not answering her phone. He called 911 after discovering the bodies.

Murphy says a suspect has been identified in the case, but he is not releasing his name. He says the suspect and Runyon were in some type of relationship, but he is not the father of the deceased child.

Murphy says these are the first homicides to have occurred in Newton in several years.


Update -- 2:45 p.m.: A 24-year-old mother and her four-year-old daughter have been identified as the two victims of a double murder in Newton. The suspect has been identified.

Police say an acquaintance of the mother and daughter found the two and called 911.

Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy said the small child died from multiple stab wounds. He was unsure how the woman died.

Murphy said he does not know when the woman and child died. They were found in bedrooms of a home on Roanoke Court.

Murphy said the suspect is known to his department and has been arrested before. He would not release the suspect's name or age or his relationship to the two victims. He said he does not believe the suspect is still in the Newton area.

The chief said the Harvey County Sheriff's Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are assisting in the investigation.

Murphy said this was a targeted incident and "not a random act."


A double murder investigation is underway in Newton after two people are killed. Newton police say the Harvey County Sheriff's Office is assisting in the investigation.

Harvey County dispatch tells us that at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, they received a report of the possible double murder on Roanoke Court.

Newton police tell us they have identified a suspect in this case and there is no threat to the public, although they have not made an arrest.

Newton police are expected to provide further information at a 2:30 p.m. briefing.

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