While Keith Hawkins, 19, was making his first appearance in Harvey County District Court via closed circuit television, county prosecutor David Yoder was holding a press conference in the law enforcement training center.
Hawkins is accused of two murders. A mother and daughter, 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and 4-year-old Zaylynn Paz, were found dead in their home on Tuesday. After fleeing to Texas, Hawkins was returned to Kansas and the Harvey County Jail Aug. 11.
Yoder had very few answers for the press on Friday. He said he could not comment on a motive, as the case was still under investigation. He said he could not comment on if drugs were involved with the killings.
Yoder did say with a charge of capital murder, levied because of two "premeditated" murders, that the death penalty is on the table — though again, that decision has not been made.
"We have not filed motions for the death penalty," Yoder said. "It is something we will continue to consider."
He will meet with the family of the victims as he makes that decision. In addition to the Capital Murder charge, Hawkins faces two charges of first-degree murder.
Hawkins was a wanted man, long before Tuesday. He was charged with failure to register with a sex offender list in April, stemming from a conviction of Aggravated Indecent Liberties with a Child out of McPherson County. He did not show up for court on July 17 as ordered — his court service papers were returned as undeliverable.
"His whereabouts were unknown, he was bouncing from location to location," Yoder said.
Yoder would not comment as to if one of those locations was Runyon's home on Roanoke Court. He did say there was not evidence of forced entry, and it is believed he was at the home "voluntarily" and with Runyon's knowledge.
Yoder would not rule out more charges as the investigation continues.
The family of Runyon and Paz will host a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Aug. 11 on the grassy space north of Roanoke Ct.
This will be a time for our community to come together, remember, grieve, and hopefully begin the healing process follow the murder of the mother and child earlier this week.
Faith Mennonite Church, which is about two blocks away from the murder scene, will host a community gathering from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the church, 2100 N. Anderson Ave.
A flier posted on the fence of the Roanoke playground stated "When bad things happen, it is good to be together."
A time of remembrance for Paz and Runyon, the church will provide a quiet space for reflection and an outdoor space to play games, listen to music and visit.