Indiana prosecutors on Monday charged a teenage boy with murder in the disappearance last week of a 19-year-old girl and her boyfriend.
Connor Kerner, 17, of Valparaiso, Ind., was accused of killing Molley Lanham, 19, and Thomas Grill, 18, last Monday after allegedly telling a friend, “I killed someone and I killed an innocent girl,” court papers show. He was jailed without bond with a May court date.
They were reported missing the same day.
According to the court papers, drawn up by the office of Porter County Prosecutor Gary Garmann, the friend told a detective Saturday that Kerner said that he shot Grill when Grill tried to rob him during a drug deal.
“Grill fell to the ground and was begging for his life,” Detective Brian Dziedzinski with the Porter County Sheriff’s Office says in the court papers, quoting the friend.
“Kerner advised that he panicked due to being out of bullets in the gun,” Dziedzinski says. “Kerner then beat him with a pipe wrench until he died.”
The court papers say, according to the friend, that Kerner then showed Lanham her boyfriend’s body and told her he would kill her if she told anyone.
“Kerner advised that when she turned to leave the garage, Kerner shot her in the head, killing her,” Dziedzinski says.
The court papers say the friend, described as a confidential informant, told the detective that Kerner said he loaded the bodies in their car and drove it to a location where he set it on fire.
The friend came forward on Saturday. The bodies were recovered that day. Kerner's arrest was announced Sunday without his name being mentioned by the Porter County Sheriff's Office.
The court papers say the friend believed Kerner was joking at first about killing Lanham and Grill until the friend saw a report on social media saying that the pair had been reported missing.
Lanham was from St. John, Ind.; Grill was from Cedar Lake, Ind.