Tristan Dilley and Paul Adams

After 14-year-old cheerleader is murdered, older boyfriend suspected in death shoots himself

Text messages may have helped solve the murder of a Texas high school cheerleader and athlete whom friends described as sweet, kind and compassionate.

Silsbee High School student Tristan Dilley was found dead at her home on Sunday with two gunshot wounds to the head, the Beaumont Enterprise reports.

Police investigating the death examined the girl’s phone and found that she had been communicating with someone named Adam. While the girl’s family thought he was a 16-year-old peer, he turned out to be 19-year-old Paul Adams.

As police were questioning his mother, Adams called her and admitted that he was at Dilley’s home on the day she was killed. But he claimed that an intruder was the one who shot Dilley and that he ran away from the house because he was scared.

Jasper County sheriff’s deputies later tracked Adams to a secluded road, where it appeared he was camping out.

When officers tried to approach Adams, he killed himself.

“You say you get used to it, but you just don’t,” Jasper County Sheriff Mitch Newman told the Beaumont Enterprise. “They were both seasoned officers. But no matter how long you are on the force, you don’t ever want to see that.”

A preliminary examination shows the same gun Adams used to take his own life was also used to murder Dilley.

Dilley had been killed while her family was away shopping. She stayed behind after saying she wanted to rest from a school dance the night before, according to Newman.

When the family got back home, “her mother hollered at her and when she didn’t answer, she told her brother to go upstairs and wake her up,” Newman said.

The brother then discovered his sister dead in a second-floor room with bullet holes to her head.  Investigators found no signs of forced entry into the home and no evidence that there was a struggle, suggesting that Dilley may have known the killer.

Newman said it appeared that Dilley and Adams were trying to see each other when her mother was away.  Adams reportedly left a handwritten suicide note, which has not yet been made public.

“He ruined two families,” Newman said. “Not just hers, but he ruined his too.”

[Feature Photo: Facebook]