Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dad murders 5-year-old daughter, her mom (Bourbon County, Kansas)

The killer daddy is identified as DONALD "BRYCE" PRESTLEY.


Fatalities at house fire ruled murder-suicide

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

By Jason E. Silvers

Officials have ruled a tragic incident that took place Wednesday, April 10, in rural Bourbon County a double murder-suicide.

A news release from the Bourbon County Sheriff's Office said Monday that while there are lab reports still pending, an investigation has determined the incident, which left three people dead, to be a double homicide/suicide.

The bodies of Terry Lynn Prestley, 30, and her 5-year-old daughter, Alivia Prestley, were found by investigators Thursday in the burned remains of a house at 688 240th St., victims of gunshot wounds. A third body, that of 30-year-old Donald "Bryce" Prestley, was found in a vehicle just south of the residence. All of the bodies were transported last week to Kansas City, Kan., for autopsies.

As a result of the investigation and autopsies, it was determined that the female in the residence, as well as the child, died as a result of a firearm. Donald Prestley was found to have died as a result of a self-inflicted injury, the release said.

Bourbon County Sheriff Ron Gray said Monday that Donald Prestley died from a gunshot, although Gray didn't know if the same gun was used in all three deaths. He declined to release what type of firearm was used. He said reports are preliminary and he has so far only received limited information on the case.

Investigators are currently in the process of completing the investigation and are still following up leads. Once the case is completed, it will be sent to the Bourbon County Attorney's Office for review, the release said.

Gray said he could not estimate when the investigation or lab reports would be complete.

"That could be weeks," he said. "Toxicology and other lab reports take awhile."

Gray said that at this point in the investigation, he has seen no indication that drugs and/or alcohol were involved in the deaths, although lab reports that are pending could indicate otherwise.

"I've seen no indication of that at all," he said. "Not that I'm aware of. I haven't been told anything like that."

Gray said he could also not comment on a possible motive or cause of the fire. That information could possibly be revealed after the investigation is complete. He said he has not yet spoken with the state fire marshal about the cause of the fire.

Given Donald "Bryce" Prestley's military background, post-traumatic stress disorder is an issue that is being looked into as part of the investigation. Gray said the true reason for the tragedy may never be known. "We're following up leads," he said.

"We may never know the reason why."

Gray said three dogs in the house also died, although he is not sure if the animals were killed by gunshots or if they died in the fire. He said he has not viewed any necropsy results for the animals.

Last Wednesday, units from Scott Township and Garland Rural Fire departments were dispatched to a structure fire in rural Bourbon County. Once the fire was extinguished, the bodies of an adult and child were discovered in the residence.

The sheriff's office asked for and received assistance from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office.

The family has requested that the public respect the privacy of the surviving daughter and family members, the release said.

Alivia Prestley was a student at the Christian Learning Center. Donald Prestley, a 2000 graduate of Fort Scott High School, served in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2008, including one tour of duty in South Korea and three tours in Iraq. Terry Lynn Prestley, also a FSHS graduate, was a stay-at-home mother. The couple was married in 2003 in Miami, Okla., according to the Prestleys' obituary that appeared in Saturday's edition of The Tribune.

Following cremation, memorial services took place Monday at the Grace Baptist Tabernacle with memorials suggested to the Andon Prestley Scholarship fund and left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel.