Homicide investigation
6:14 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Man captured in Louisiana in case of missing family

FANNIN COUNTY - A Fannin County man is behind bars in connection to the believed murder of three Leonard residents. 

52-year-old Thomas Taunton was arrested after his pickup truck broke down in Stonewall, Louisiana. Authorities in Fannin County are alleging Taunton killed a family of three that had been missing since Sunday evening.

Neighbors say that Harold and Sue Harpst, each in their 70’s, have been living at the residence, along with their daughter. Multiple reports say that Taunton is the couple’s son. 

At last report the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office was still considering this a missing person’s case.  But authorities were working to obtain a search warrant for a 16-foot trailer that Taunton was reportedly hauling upon his capture.

Sheriff Donnie Foster stated in a release Thursday that authorities were notified Wednesday of the situation and that foul play may be involved. Investigators then made entry into the residence to check the welfare of the homeowners but no one was found inside and evidence of foul play was detected.