ARLINGTON, Texas – The suspect in the slaying of his wife and two of her children in Mansfield has confessed to Arlington police that he killed his father and sister last year.
Police found a body Friday in the northwest Arlington mobile home of Terry Lee Hankins' father, Ernie L. Hankins. Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT said police later found a body wrapped in plastic in a box in a trunk of a car in an auto storage lot on the western outskirts of Arlington.
Sgt. Mark Simpson of the Arlington police said an autopsy will be needed before the body found in the mobile home can be positively identified as that of the suspect's 75-year-old father. He said authorities believe the body has been in the home since October.
Simpson said the body was found in the living room of the mobile home, where Hankins said they would find it. He said he knew of no calls to police from concerned neighbors since October.
"To the best of my knowledge, there have been no calls out here for a welfare check or an odor or anything like that," Simpson told Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW. Detectives planned to interview neighbors.
Hankins, 26, has been charged with capital murder in the slayings of wife Tammy Hankins, 34; her 13-year-old son, Kevin Galley; and 11-year-old daughter Ashley Mason. Their bodies were found by relatives Wednesday night at their home in a Mansfield mobile home park.
All apparently were shot in the head. Hankins was arraigned Thursday on capital murder charges and remains in the Mansfield city jail under $1 million bond, police spokesman Kirk Grable said.
Hankins was to be transferred Friday from the Mansfield Police Department to the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department.
Hankins, dressed in an police-issued orange shirt, orange pants and flip-flops, hung his head as two officers led him into the police station.
Mansfield Police Chief Steve Noonkester said officers found a note at the scene, but would not comment on it.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported the handwritten note was on the back of an envelope addressed to Terry Lee Hankins that read, "I guess to sum it up, I am guilty of murder, incest, hatred, fraud, theft, jealousy and envy," according the arrest warrant affidavit. The note was not signed.
The arrest warrant accused Hankins, 26, of the deaths of his wife, 34, and the two children. Police said they didn't know how long they had been dead.
The case began unfolding after Tammy Hankins' mother and sister discovered the bodies at the Breezy Oaks Mobile Home Park. Noonkester said all had been shot to death with a large-caliber handgun.
Police began searching for Terry Lee Hankins, who had recently been released from jail, according to the warrant.
They focused on the Arlington apartment of his girlfriend, Barbara Fox, and held her outside after she came out to walk her dog. Hankins emerged briefly with a gun and then police began negotiating with him by telephone, Mansfield Deputy Chief G.L. Fowler said.
A 10-year-old girl and the girlfriend's 39-year-old sister managed to leave the apartment during the four-hour negotiations, police said. Then members of the Arlington SWAT team quietly entered the apartment and arrested him.
Police said Fox told them that Hankins, who is a landscaper and tow truck driver, had several guns in her apartment. She also said she was unaware his wife was dead.
Police said they have the guns in their possession but have not determined whether any were used in the slayings.
Police said that after the Mansfield slayings Hankins drove away in Tammy Hankins' car. He apparently had been staying at Fox's home.
A few week before the slayings, Tammy Hankins and Fox posted bond for Hankins after he was charged with aggravated assault on July 31 in the beating of Ruthie Bradley. He had been in jail for about a week.
He had lived with Bradley for about a year after separating from Tammy.
Neighbors in the Mansfield mobile home said Kevin Galley was a boy forced to grow up before his time. He was saddled with chores such as cleaning the kitchen and mowing.
"He was going to make someone a good husband someday," Elaine Sprague said.
Ashley Mason was a quiet, sweet girl, neighbors said, and she told people she wanted to be an actress when she grew up.
Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said the agency received a report of neglectful supervision in the home during July.
"We investigated the case and were unable to substantiate the allegations. We ruled out the allegations and closed the case," she said.
Tammy Hankins was a strong, outspoken woman who came and went without talking much to neighbors. She had three kids, each from different fathers. She kept them well dressed and groomed, but she often left them alone to fend for themselves while she managed a Burger King in Arlington, Sprague said.
"She went to work when the sun came up and came home after it was dark," Jarvis said.