Ryan Walton Arrested In Wealthy Parents' Mansion Slaying

06/02/2014 12:45 pm ET | Updated Jun 02, 2014
  • David Lohr Senior Crime Reporter, The Huffington Post

The 20-year-old son of a wealthy couple found shot to death in their Texas mansion has been arrested on a murder warrant.

Ryan Walton, who's being held without bail at the Fort Bend County Jail, was arrested Saturday after a two-day manhunt, according to Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls.

Michael Robert Walton, 54, and his wife, Lynda Renee Walton, 52, were found dead on the evening of May 29, inside their $1.4 million home in the Lake Pointe Estates subdivision in Katy, about 25 miles north west of Sugar Land.

The couple's 24-year-old son, Derrick Walton, made the discovery that evening and called 9-1-1. The couple was last seen alive earlier that morning, police said.

"Initial investigation shows the Waltons were shot to death by a small-caliber firearm," the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Friday.

A weapon was not found at the crime scene, but authorities did reportedly find shell casings near the victims' bodies.

Authorities found signs of forced entry into the home and discovered Lynda Walton's 2006 BMW was missing from an attached garage. Surveillance video from the entrance to the family's gated community captured the vehicle exiting the community Thursday morning, police said.

People in the community were reportedly stumped as to who would want to harm Michael and Linda Walton.

According to KHOU, the family was well liked and respected within the community. Michael Walton was reportedly a real estate developer and had designed the subdivision where they lived, prompting many in the community to nickname the Walton home "The Governor's Mansion."

"[He was a] very nice guy, really conscientious and into what he developed," neighbor David Roberson told KHOU.

Roberson added, "I felt bad because number one, it's two lives lost and number two, it's in our neighborhood so that one kind of got to me."

Michael and Lynda Walton had four children, Derrick Walton, Donald Walton, 28, Ryan Walton, 20 and 18-year-old Shelby Walton.

Shelby Walton is due to graduate from Katy High School this week. On the night of the slayings, the school sent an email about the Walton's "fatal shooting" to the parents of her classmates.

"Many of our students may have been friends or classmates with the student affected, or have known the family ... This is a very sad situation for the family involved and our school community," reads an excerpt from the email.

Authorities questioned and cleared Derrick, Donald and Shelby Walton, about the slaying of their parents, but they were unable to locate 20-year-old Ryan Walton.

Ryan Walton had recently moved out of his parents' home and dropped out of Texas A&M University, police said.

"We would like to know his whereabouts so we can talk to him ... Knowing that his two parents are deceased, you think it would be something that he would be concerned about," Nehls said at a Friday press conference.

Unbeknownst to the public, sheriff's investigators had obtained two sealed arrest warrants for murder, for Ryan Walton's arrest.

The search for Ryan Walton continued until Saturday afternoon, when authorities spotted him at a restaurant in Rosenberg. He was taken into custody without incident. At the time of his arrest, Ryan Walton was in possession of his mother's BMW police said.

Following the arrest, Nehls revealed that the surveillance video of Lynda Walton's BMW exiting her gated community appeared to show that her son was behind the wheel.

Nehls also acknowledged there had been "some friction within that family," but did not elaborate.

Ryan Walton is expected to appear in court sometime this week. Jail records do not list an attorney for him.

"I think it's a tragedy," Nehls said of the slayings. "Things like this don't happen in Fort Bend County."

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