LEONARD, TX – While more information emerges into the disappearance of a Fannin County family, they remain missing, and a family member remains in a Louisiana jail arrested for their murders.
Fannin County Sheriff Donnie Foster said in a press release Friday afternoon his office began looking into the matter Wednesday, when they got the call that 73-year-old Harold Harpst, his 79-year-old wife, Sue, and her daughter, 48-year-old Regina Taunton were missing. Inside their Trenton ranch home, investigators found evidence of foul play and issued an arrest warrant for Mrs. Harpst’s son, 52-year-old Thomas Lloyd Taunton.
Foster says teletypes were issued with the Mr. Taunton’s description and with a description of his vehicle. He was arrested on a Fannin County warrant for capital murder at 3 p.m. Thursday at an auto repair shop in Louisiana when he had vehicle trouble. The sheriff says investigators went to Louisiana and obtained search warrants for Taunton’s vehicle and trailer and additional evidence was located inside. He remains in a Louisiana county jail.
Foster says the family members are still missing. Investigators are currently looking for the Harpst’s vehicle, which is also missing. The vehicle is a silver 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. According to family members, Mr. Harpst was a double leg amputee who suffered from diabetes, and his wife and daughter helped care for him.
Sheriff Foster says 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.
Hear from family members tonight on First News at Six.