An El Campo man charged with shooting two young children in a Laredo hotel room, killing one of them, is also suspected of killing the boys' mother and stashing her body at his father's house, police said.
Demond Bluntson, 36, was father to one of the children, police said. Neighbors said Bluntson was the father of 21-month-old Devian Blunston, who died almost instantly. His brother, 6-year-old Jayden Thompson, was on life support Wednesday.
Police checked on the children at the Holiday Inn-Civic Center around midday after receiving a call suggesting the children and their mother, 28-year-old Brandy Cerny, could be in trouble. After knocking on the hotel room door and identifying themselves as police, officers heard several immediate shots. Police said one of the shots went through the door and narrowly missed two officers.
Several hours later, a neighbor of Bluntson's father found Cerny's body. Her body had been stuffed in an old shed not far from the El Campo apartment complex where the couple had lived. Police said they suspect she was killed on Sunday.
Neighbor Cheryl Washington said she heard gunshots on Sunday. Seconds after them, she said she saw Bluntson drive away. She said she didn't think anything of it at the time, but she became suspicious after hearing that the boys had been shot.
"I started putting two and two together," she said.
"We had a feeling that if we went there, hopefully we could find her, hopefully breathing. I saw the body, I knew it was her," Arthur Washington said.
Washington knew both Bluntson and Cerny and suspected, after hearing about what happened in Laredo, Bluntson might have used his father's property to dispose of the missing woman.
Bluntson had not been charged with Cerny's death late Tuesday, but he has been charged with one count of capital murder of an individual under 6 years of age, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against a public servant and one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.
Bluntson is being held in the Webb County Jail without bond. Investigators said Bluntson may have been on his way out of the country with the children when they stopped in Laredo.
Detectives said Bluntson has refused to talk to them.
Relatives said that Bluntson and Cerny had a volatile relationship. Cerny was in the process of ending the relationship, relatives said. She had a restraining order filed against Bluntson, family members said.
"I know that women are scared to get away from people, but if they can get help, don't try to do it on your own," Cerny's aunt Diane Cerny said.
Family members said their lives have been changed forever.
"We're all extremely distraught," Dianne Cerny told The Associated Press. "Brandy is a bright, beautiful woman, and the boys were both absolutely delightful."
She described Jayden as loving football, and said Davian never stopped smiling.
Children's Protective Services said they had visited the couple's home once in 2009 and twice in 2010. All of the cases were dropped.
Stanphill said his officers began investigating Monday when Brandy Cerny's father, Lloyd Cerny, filed a missing person's report after she did not show up for work. He said investigators contacted Laredo police after developing a lead.
Dianne Cerny said family members last saw Brandy Cerny and her boys at church Sunday morning. The close-knit family had gathered the night before to celebrate Father's Day, she said.