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He wasn't suspected in her killing. Then a sketch ID'd him and he confessed in church

Ryan Riggs
Ryan Riggs Brown County Sheriff's Department / GetImageContent[2].jpg

A week ago authorities released a DNA composite photo of a possible suspect in a murder case that had them baffled for months.

Wednesday, investigators arrested a man who matched the description of the composite photo almost identically, according to published reports.

Ryan Derek Riggs, 21, was booked into the Brown County Jail on a capital murder charge Wednesday in the slaying of Rhonda Chantay Blankinship, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Office jail log. Bond was withheld.

Riggs was arrested at his parents' house, about a mile from Blankinship's residence in North Lake Brownwood, according to a story from the Brownwood Bulletin.

Brown County Sheriff Vance Hill told reporters at a news conference Thursday that Riggs was never on their radar until investigators released a DNA profile and composite drawing, the Brownwood story said.

Riggs confessed to law enforcement after confessing to church members that he killed Blankinship, 25, in May 2016 and dumped her body five miles from her Lake Brownwood home, television station KTXS reported.

Hill said Riggs allegedly sexually assaulted Blankinship and beat her using a lawn mower blade, KTXS reported. Blankinship and Riggs were neighbors and attended church together, the story said.

Blankenship's parents told a KTXS reporter they never suspected Riggs until after they saw the composite sketch.

The motive was unclear.

The investigation continues.











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