Suspect arrested in connection with Newton murder of mother and child

Keith Hawkins was arrested in Taylor, Texas Tuesday night. Hawkins is suspected of killing Alyssa Runyon, 24, and her four-year-old daughter Zaylynn Paz. (Photo Courtesy: Newton Police Department)

NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – A suspect in Tuesday’s double murder in Newton has been arrested in Taylor, Texas.

Authorities say 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and daughter Zaylynn Paz were found dead shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday by Runyon’s ex-boyfriend in bedrooms in the victims’ duplex. Police said the girl had been fatally stabbed and that her mother strangled.

According to the Newton Police Department, Keith Lane Hawkins, 19, was arrested around 5:25 p.m. Hawkins was driving the victim’s vehicle to a family member’s house.

The department said the investigation was rapidly evolving, and they did not want to tip off the suspect that his movements were being tracked. The department had information about his destination.

Hawkins led police on a chase through parts of Texas before he crashed the vehicle in Hutto, Texas. Authorities in Hutto were able to stop the vehicle with spike strips.

According to a post on the Hutto Police Department Facebook page, an alert police supervisor helped Taylor police catch Hawkins.

KXAN-TV reports the suspect lost control and crashed into two cars in the parking lot of Christian Brothers Automotive at 580 US 79 — just east of State Highway 130 — before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

There was no immediate word about any charges. Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy said the suspect has been previously arrested and has been known to law enforcement.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is assisting.

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