A 17-year-old Indiana boy was charged Monday for the murders of two teens who were reported missing late last month.
Connor Kerner is believed to have killed Molley Lanham, 19, and Thomas Grill, 18, of Cedar Lake, during a drug deal gone bad, according to the Post-Tribune. On February 25, the date of their disappearances, Kerner told an acquaintance that he did something “really bad,” the news outlet reported, citing court documents.
“I killed someone and I killed an innocent girl,” Kerner allegedly told the acquaintance who ultimately went to police.
According to court documents, Kerner told the acquaintance that the double homicide occurred in his grandparents’ garage in Hebron, while the grandparents were out of town. He reportedly claimed Grill tried to rob him, leading him to fire twice before wounding him.
Documents obtained by the newspaper indicated that Lanham drove Grill to the Hebron home in a Honda Civic because Grill’s driver’s license was suspended.
“Grill fell to the ground and was begging for his life,” according to records acquired by The Times of Northwest Indiana. “Kerner advised that he panicked due to being out of bullets in the gun. Kerner then beat him (Grill) with a pipe wrench until he died.”
According to The Times, Kerner then showed Lanham Grill’s body and said she could leave if she didn’t tell anyone. It was when Lanham turned to leave the garage when Kerner allegedly shot her in the head, killing her.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Kerner’s arrest came days after police received a tip alleging that Kerner killed the teens and put their bodies in the Honda Civic, before lighting it ablaze in a field in Hebron.
“Kerner told (the acquaintance) that he had done this before and knew how to cover up a murder and get away with it,” documents stated.
The Porter County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that investigators located a charred vehicle containing the remains of two people. Though they’re awaiting the results of DNA testing, they said “all evidence obtained at this point at the scene and through statements given” suggests the bodies are those of Lanham and Grill.
Police also said they recovered “substantial evidence” while executing search warrants at Kerner’s Valparaiso home and a Hebron residence.
Kerner was charged with two counts of felony murder. He remains jailed without bond.
[Featured image: Thomas Grill, Molley Lanham/Handout]