Affidavit: ‘HELP’ written on dashboard of SUV connected to murder of teen couple
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A probable cause affidavit released Friday details how Wichita police connected 22-year-old Dontenize Kelly to the deaths of 17-year-old Michael Beasley and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Kaylah Blackmon.
Beasley’s body was found outside an abandoned church on Feb. 1. The affidavit says tinted glass fragments were found near his body. An autopsy determined he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
According to the affidavit, police interviewed Beasley’s family who said he had been dating Blackmon. Her family said they had not seen or heard from her since Jan. 31.
Police began searching for Blackmon and her grey 2005 Ford Escape. They said she may be in danger. According to the affidavit, the FLOCK license plate reader was used to track Blackmon’s SUV. The system automatically photographs tag numbers and vehicles that drive past the cameras and logs the date, time and location.
Data from the FLOCK system found that Blackmon’s Escape had been near 9th and Grove, within a few hours of Beasley’s body being discovered. The location is only three blocks away from the church. Police also found that the system’s last known “hit” on the vehicle was near Pawnee and Oliver at 6:49 p.m. Surveillance video from Spirit AeroSystems captured the vehicle traveling in the area minutes later.
A citizen found Blackmon’s phone on the sidewalk of a bridge on 119th Street West, south of Maple. Detectives used the cell phone and Facebook data to pinpoint Blackmon at McDonald’s (506 N. Tyler) on Feb. 1 at 2:24 a.m. Surveillance video from the restaurant showed the woman drive-through and purchase two drinks and food “more food than one person would typically east.” Detectives said the window of the SVU was intact and Blackmon appeared to be alone and under no distress.
On Feb. 4, officers found Blackmon’s Escape in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 500 block of West 27th Street South. According to the affidavit, police observed what appeared to be blood on the driver’s seat, center console, cigarette lighter and rear seat behind the driver’s seat. The word “HELP” was also written in dust on the dashboard. The rear passenger window was broken out and a shell casing was found near the glass. The fragments were similar to what was located near Beasley’s body. McDonald’s wrappers, a bunch of clothing and miscellaneous property were also in the back seat.
A search warrant was obtained and a human body was found underneath the clothing. It was a woman with dark red hair and tattoos. Police determined it to be Kaylah Blackmon. Officers found a receipt showing that her debit card had been used to make the purchase from McDonald’s. Her keys, debit card, purse, wallet and ID were all missing.
Police located six shell casings, an unspent bullet and bloody clothes in the backseat. They found Beasley’s wallet and iPhone. A document from Speedy Cash in the name of Dontenize Kelly was also located.
Officers took latent prints from the McDonald’s containers and the exterior column between the front and rear doors and matched them to Kelly using the Latent Print Examiners, without his name being submitted.
An autopsy determined Blackmon died from three gunshot wounds to the head.
Beasley’s mother said he and Kelly were friends and Kelly had come to her home recently looking for her son. The mother’s of Kelly’s child said he and Beasley were friends but Kelly had told her that they recently had a “falling out.”
On Feb. 5, officers found Kelly staying at an apartment with two other men. He was taken into custody.
One of the men told police he saw Kelly come in and wash his shirt in the bathroom sink. The other man said Kelly showed up unannounced with no belongings on either Jan. 31 or Feb. 1 between 7 and 8 pm. He said he let Kelly sleep on an air mattress, but he didn’t know if he went to bed or not.
Police obtained surveillance video from the apartment complex which showed a vehicle similar to Blackmon’s Ford Escape arrive on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. The back passenger window was broken out. A man got out of the vehicle wearing clothes similar to what one of the men described Kelly as wearing. The man walked toward the unit of the two men and then returned to the SUV at 10:09 p.m. He drove away at 10:13 p.m.
Surveillance video from the apartment complex where Blackmons’s SUV was found abandoned showed the vehicle arrive at 10:20 p.m. A man got out of the vehicle and appeared to wipe the exterior and walk away, according to the affidavit.
Surveillance video showed that same man walking back to the first complex. Police said it is a five-minute drive between the two apartment complexes based on Google Maps and a 37-minute walk. Based on the timestamps, police said 33 minutes elapsed between the time the man in the video left the first apartment complex and returned.
The affidavit says Kelly declined to make any statements after he was arrested. It says the jacket he was wearing was similar to what the man was wearing in the video. A dark red strand of hair was found just inside the hand hole on the left sleeve, reads the court document.
Dontenize Kelly is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 17-year-old Michael Beasley and 18-year-old Kaylah Blackmon.
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