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Fannin Co News Release 1.21

Fannin Co News Release 1.21

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Published by Jason Trahan

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Published by: Jason Trahan on Jan 22, 2012
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Donnie D. Foster Sheriff 
Fannin County Sheriff’s Office 2375 Silo Road Bonham, Texas 75418 (903) 583-2143 dfoster@fanninco.net  
January 19, 2012 Media News Release On January 18, 2012 Fannin County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding the possibility that three persons were missing from a residence in southern Fannin County and that foul play might be involved.Investigators went to the location to attempt contact with the residents. Attempts to make contact witanyone at the residence were unsuccessful.Due to information received regarding possible foul play, investigators made entry into the home to check the welfare of the homeowners. Investigators did not find anyone in the residence, but did notice things which could indicate that foul play was involved in the disappearance of the residents.Investigators have identified the missing persons as Harold Harpst, age 73; Sue Harpst, age 79 and Sue’s daughter Regina Taunton, age 48, all of the residence.Due to evidence discovered inside the residence, this investigation is being conducted as a homicide investigation. The overwhelming evidence led to the issuance of an arrest warrant for Thomas Lloyd Taunton, age 52. Teletypes were issued with the suspect’s descriptors and with a description of his vehicle.Thomas Taunton was arrested on a Fannin County warrant for capital murder at approximately 3:00PM January 19, 2012 at an automobile repair shop in Louisiana when he had vehicle trouble.Investigators went to Louisiana and obtained search warrants for Taunton’s vehicle and trailer. Additional evidence has been located inside the vehicles.On January 21, 2012, Deputies, while following leads, discovered three bodies behind a barn on Hwy 11approximately 1 mile east of Sherman city limits. Investigative Crime Scene Unit processed the scene.Justice of Peace was arrived at the scene and ordered the bodies to be sent to Dallas Medical Examiners Office for autopsies. The bodies are believed to be those of the three family members missing from Fannin County. At this time, Officials are unable to confirm the identity of the bodies pending autopsy.Investigators are currently looking for the Harpst’s vehicle which is missing. The vehicle is Silver in color,2007 Dodge Caravan with Texas handicap license plate 8CPYH. The van is equipped with a wheelchair lift on the driver’s side and a rack for carrying a wheelchair is on the rear of the van.Anyone believing that they may have seen the van should contact Fannin County Sheriff’s Office at (903)583-2143, or contact their local law enforcement agency.As this is an ongoing investigation, no further information can be released at this time.Thank you,

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