Investigators head to Texas after Newton double murders

Alyssa Runyon and Zaylynn Paz (Photo courtesy Runyon Memorial GoFundMe)

NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – One day after the horrific double murders of Alyssa Runyon and Zaylynn Paz, the Newton Police Department has investigators heading to Texas to talk to officers there about extradition for the man who police say committed the crimes.

Kieth Hawkins was arrested in Texas Tuesday after a police chase.

In Newton, a small memorial has been started in memory of Runyon and Paz. Neighbors recall the little girl as friendly and fun and the mother as quiet.

Police just opened up the street and neighbors are still in shock but relieved police have the suspect in custody.

“It’s kind of like, oh no, coming in here you have to check in and it can be just a tad bit intimidating,” said Lynette Jost, neighbor of the victims.

Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy said the district attorney’s office is coordinating efforts today, but there may be charges out of Texas where officers stopped Hawkins after a car chase.

Chief Murphy also explained even though there have been many questions about public safety, he said the Newton community was not in danger when they were trying to find Hawkins.

“Because this individual like I said we were tracking him and waiting on him at his destination,” added Murphy.

A friend of the family has set up a gofundme page. Family members did not want to go on camera, but one family member said the entire family is still in shock and having a tough time even figuring out where to go next.

Police say Hawkins could be back in Newton to face charges as soon as they settle charges in Texas.


Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.