10:18 AM

Investigators are appealing to the public and reporters for help in their investigation into the triple murders of a teenager and her grandparents that were found dead Tuesday Benton County.

Donnie and Sharon Luetjen and their granddaughter/daughter Taron were each shot one time inside their Cole Camp home according to Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Meyer.

At a news conference today to discuss the latest developments in the triple homicide investigation Meyer said, "We're asking anyone who had any contact with the Luetjens from Sunday until they were found on Tuesday to call us."

Cole Camp has a little over a thousand residents and has NEVER had a murder in it's 170 year history, according to Police Chief Stormy Walker.

School officials became concerned when Taron didn't show up for drivers ed class on Monday and Tuesday. She would have graduated from the class Wednesday (06-10-09.)

The 15 year-old was supposed to help a family friend with on Tuesday. When she didn't show up, the friend went to the house about 11:30 a.m. and found "something suspicious" and alerted police.

Taron had lived with with her grandparents since she was a little girl. The elder Luetjens adopted their granddaughter in 2002. Her father, their son, Terry was killed in a car crash in 1993.

Taron's biological mother, Debra Kost, lives in Buffalo, Missouri, which is a little over an hour away from Cole Camp. She says she didn't have the money to fight for custody of her daughter.

A friend of Taron says they wanted to have a slumber party on Sunday but that Sharon Luetjen objected. The girl says she and Taron texted back and forth until about 10:30 p.m.----after that, her texts went unanswered.

Robbery has not been ruled out according to investigators because Donnie Luetjen was known nationwide as an avid collector of Native American artifacts and rare Civil War memorabilia.

Sgt. Meyer (b.)also says, "no one has been ruled out as a suspect, and that includes family members."

"We need the publics help on this, Meyer said, "anyone with information trivial or not could help us in this investigation."

Sgt. Meyer would not confirm nor deny if the Luetjens had been bound and lined up next to each other. "We don't have a motive or suspect or suspects at this time, and I don't want to release specifics.....we don't want to tip our hand, we want our suspect/s to tip it for us."

If you have any information that could help investigators solve this case you're asked to call the Cole Camp Police Department at 660-668-2321, the Benton County Sheriff’s Department at 660-438-5252, or the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Troop A Headquarters at 816-622-0800.
Taron's friends have started a facebook page dedicated to her memory.


Laura said...

How sad! That poor family.