6:49 PM

Nearly three weeks ago a Benton County family was found shot to death in their home. It was a crime that had residents in the quiet community of Cole Camp questioning their own safety.

Was there a crazed killer or killers on the loose that residents should fear? Today investigators hope they can ease peoples minds with the arrest of Robert/Robbie Blurton, 45, for the murders of Donnie, Sharon and Donnie Luetjen.

Robbie Blurton (a.) was arrested at 12:10 a.m. in Garnett, KS, by a combined multiple effort by several law enforcement agencies. He was arrested on three counts of first-degree murder and armed criminal action and is being held in Allen County, KS, pending extradition to Missouri on three million dollar cash only bond.

I received the following tip on Jue 12th:

"Don't know if you want to post this or not. But there is another rumor going around. Again this is just a rumor! Supposedly Sharon Luetjen had a nephew living w/ them. Something happened & she had him arrested. He got out of jail shortly before all this happened. Again don't even know if this is true. I'm not saying he did it. But what did he tell while in jail & to who. If indeed this even occurred."

Blurton is the the Luetjens nephew and had lived with the family for a time. He pleaded guilty to forgery in 2005 (link to record at bottom,) and was sentenced to four years in prison. If the above tip is true, is this what Sharon Luetjen turned Blurton in to the cops for, and what alliances did he make in lockup? It could be spelled out in the probable cause statement which might be available on Monday....or we may have to wait for law enforcers to make additional arrests before we glean any real information in the case.

A source tells me that Robbie Blurton was at the Luetjens funeral services.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Meyer says, "robbery appears to be the motive. We have a taped 9-1-1 call made from a cell phone inside the Leutjen home on June 7th that links Blurton to the crime as well as DNA evidence from the crime scene."

Sgt. Meyer says the investigation is ongoing and that authorities are looking at at least one additional suspect in the Luetjens murders and arrests could be imminent. Meyer says the rural major case squad will reconvene on Tuesday to compare notes and work on the case.

It was Tuesday June 9th that school officials became concerned after Taron hadn't shown up for her drivers ed class for two days.

The teenager was supposed to help a family friend with a project on Tuesday and when she didn't show up the friend went to the Luetjens Elm Street house about 11:30 a.m. and found "something suspicious" and alerted police.

It took cops a little over five hours to secure a search warrant to enter the tidy grey house....what they found inside shocked even longtime veteran cops. Three bodies bound together lying side by side....each shot one time.

Investigators believe the Luetjens were murdered sometime between the late night hours of Sunday June 8th and Monday June 9th.

A friend of Tarons 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. Sunday night----after that, her texts went unanswered.

Cops had kept their cards pretty close to the vest as the investigation into who killed the Luetjens continued, but we got a look inside the investigation on June 18th. Cole Camp police chief Storm Walker wrote in his weekly column in the Cole Camp Courier that authorities needed more information about a light colored Chevrolet S10 pick-up that had a camper shell that was seen in the Luetjens neighborhood, and needed to know who three or four men that were seen talking with Donnie Luetjen on Sunday June 7th were.

Walker said cops also wanted to know the identity of a man who was seen in a white hooded shirt on June 7th in Water Tower Park (which is across the street from the Luetjen home.)

This past Thursday, Walker said investigators were still waiting on forensic evidence to come back from the crime lab, but that they had received the Luetjens phone records, "which were minimally helpful."

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

Taron's biological mother, Debra Kost, who lives about an hour away from Cole Camp says she didn't have the money to fight an extended custody battle with the elder Luetjens, "I hope she knew I loved her.... I always hoped when she turned eighteen she would come find me."

Sgt. Meyer urges anyone that may have information that can assist authorities in the ongoing investigation into the Luetjens murders to contact 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.

Forgery Charges Against Blurton:



***Luetjen family image KSPR