WACO, Texas – The search for missing Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy (search) could be coming to a tragic end.
Police in Waco continue to say publicly that they hope the 6-foot-10 center, who has been missing for nearly three weeks, is still alive. And authorities said Tuesday they have no single suspect and have not found a body.
"Patrick Dennehy is a missing person, and we're not going to talk about him in the past tense," police spokesman Larry Holze said.
But police sources have told Fox News that they believe Dennehy has been murdered — and an informant the cops describe as "credible" has said that Dennehy's close friend, Carlton Dotson (search), told his cousin that he killed the 6-foot-10 athlete. Dennehy has been missing for nearly three weeks.
A search warrant affidavit made public Monday says the unidentified informant told investigators in Delaware that Dotson, a former teammate and roommate of Dennehy's, killed Dennehy with a 9mm handgun (search).
No charges have been filed, Waco police spokesman Steve Anderson said Tuesday. He said a Waco investigator interviewed Dotson on Friday, but he didn't know Dotson's whereabouts on Tuesday or whether police had spoken to him since the affidavit was made public Monday.
He stressed that the court documents made public by a judge were not the same as a police announcement. "We are talking to numerous individuals," Anderson said. "There are several people of interest."
Anderson said police had used cadaver dogs to search a location north of Waco, where the athlete was supposedly shooting guns with Dotson, but "as of this moment we have still not found Mr. Dennehy."
Last week, before the affidavit was made public, Dotson told The Dallas Morning News that police asked him not to discuss the case and that he had learned of Dennehy's disappearance from Dennehy's girlfriend.
"I had to talk to police today, and I told them everything I can tell them and everything I knew," he said from his Hurlock, Md., home.
Dennehy's family reported the 230-pound junior missing on June 19. His sport utility vehicle was found last week in a mall parking lot in Virginia Beach, Va. Waco police asked the FBI to join the investigation and have said several Baylor players had been questioned.
According to the affidavit, filed June 23 in 19th District Court in McLennan County, the informant said Dotson told the cousin that while he and Dennehy were shooting guns, they argued and Dennehy pointed a weapon at Dotson as if to shoot him, but Dotson shot Dennehy instead.
The affidavit does not say if anyone else was present.
The warrant sought in the affidavit was for a search of Dennehy's room and the contents of his computer. There has been no indication what the investigation might have found.
According to the affidavit, Dotson said that after the alleged shooting he drove home to Maryland and got rid of the guns along the way.
At Hurlock, Dotson's aunt, Pat Waters, said Tuesday he had returned to town for the summer and was at their house Sunday, but they didn't discuss Dennehy. She said she didn't know where he was on Tuesday.
Waters said Dotson is "probably scared. He's not a person that talks a lot."
Another aunt, Puricy Dotson, told Fox News Tuesday morning in a telephone interview: "I can't really say anything because I don't really know anything."
She described her nephew as a fun-loving young man — "he's more of a class clown type, like a Will Smith" — and said she had no knowledge that Dotson might have a gun.
Asked if Dotson is currently at his home in Hurlock, she said: "I couldn't tell you. I really don't know."
Dotson led his high school team to a state championship in 1999, Waters said. "Even people who don't know Carlton, if you ask them about him, they'll say he's a basketball player," she said.
Tom Stanton, Baylor athletic director, issued a statement late Monday confirming that Dotson was a former player, but said he couldn't discuss the case.
Dennehy transferred to Baylor last fall. He had played two seasons at the University of New Mexico, where he averaged 10.6 points and 7.5 rebounds his sophomore year, but then was cut from that team after losing his temper during practice.
He accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Baylor and told friends he had become a born-again Christian. He was a B student and rarely missed a class. He was not eligible to play for a year, but he practiced with the team.
"It's a fresh start," Dennehy said in May 2002. "I feel great. It's a new coach, a new team, a new set of personalities."
Dotson, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 4.6 points in a reserve role with Baylor this season and was not expected to return next season.
People who knew the two players said Monday that they were fun-loving, well-mannered roommates who never argued.
Neighbor Kristal Wilson, 21, said the pair knocked on her door last semester when they were locked out of their third-floor apartment, laughed and asked if they could crawl over her balcony.
"They were just really funny guys," Wilson, a senior from El Paso, said, fighting back tears. "I'm sure it's upsetting for everybody. It's a tragedy."
Friends and family said it was uncharacteristic of Dennehy to disappear for days on end without calling someone.
Another Dennehy roommate, Chris Turk, who is not on the basketball team, told police he last saw Dennehy before leaving for a trip June 11. When Turk returned five days later, the apartment looked normal but Dennehy's dogs had not been fed, he said.
Dennehy's girlfriend in Albuquerque, N.M., 20-year-old Jessica De La Rosa, said he seemed fine during their last phone conversation the night of June 11. His mother and stepfather, who live in Carson City, Nev., contacted the university after Dennehy did not call his home on Father's Day, June 15.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.