Davis County honor student arrested in deaths of 2 younger brothers

Published: Thursday, May 23 2013 9:45 a.m. MDT

Annie Durrwachter, left, and her mother, Teresa Peterson, leave flowers at the crime scene in West Point on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Two young brothers were found dead in their West Point home late Wednesday. Their 15-year-old brother was booked into the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center Thursday in connection with the deaths.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

WEST POINT — A 15-year-old honor student was booked into the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center Thursday in connection with the deaths of his two younger brothers.

The victims, ages 4 and 10, suffered injuries "consistent with penetrating knife wounds," said Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson. Two knives believed to have been used in the crimes were recovered from the West Point home.

The teen was arrested for investigation of two counts of murder.

The tragic incident was discovered Wednesday afternoon when the boys' mother came home, 120 S. 1660 West, from a dance recital with her three other children. She discovered the body of her 4-year-old and called 911, Richardson said.

At that time, she believed her 10-year-old son was also with her 15-year-old son. When police searched the house, however, they then found the body of the 10-year-old. Richardson said one victim was found downstairs in a "main area," and the other boy was upstairs in a "main area."

The teenage brother was immediately called a person of interest and multiple police agencies set out searching for him. He was found about 11:35 p.m. walking along a street in Layton. Richardson said he was in "good" condition, but he was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries, which he said were "consistent with this kind of attack."

The teen, who had "trace evidence of blood" on him, was then questioned by detectives.

"He spoke pretty bluntly with our investigators," the sheriff said. "We believe the suspect acted alone."

Investigators said they believe they know the motive for the killings, but declined to elaborate. "As time goes on, I think it will be released as to why he did what he did," Richardson said.

Family members told police the boy has no apparent history of mental illness, according to Richardson. He also said the preliminary evidence indicates the killings were not premeditated.

The 15-year-old was reportedly left in charge of watching his younger brothers while his mother was away at the recital.

The teen was in the news briefly in 2011 when he ran away from home. After a large community search, he was found at a Wendy's restaurant about four miles from his house.

But Richardson said he was not the type of boy who had a past that would suggest he would do something like this.

Lindsey Caballero, who lives across the street, described the boy as shy. “This is just beyond my imagination of what could happen, but he was a very shy, kept-to-himself kind of kid," she said.

Ann Durrwachter, a neighbor who lives a couple of homes away from the family, said her son went to school with the teen.

"From what I understand, he's a model student, from what I've heard. I've never had any complaints about him or his family. I always figured him as model 15-year-old that every mom dreamed of having. He was just carefree almost. He just kind of did his own thing as most boys do," she said.

A Davis County School District spokesman confirmed the West Point Junior High School ninth-grader is an honor student. Chris Williams said the brothers had been home-schooled on and off. The 15-year-old has been attending the middle school since eighth grade.

The district met with teachers before school began Thursday in an emergency meeting and gave them ideas of what to tell the students in each classroom. At least 14 grief counselors were at the junior high school on Thursday, Williams said. The principal was also planning on sending an email to parents notifying them about what had happened.

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