FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Ryan Robert Walton has been arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of his parents, who were found dead Thursday night in Katy, deputies said.
According to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, the 20-year-old son was arrested by an off-duty deputy sheriff during a traffic stop around 12:30 p.m. at FM 762 and Interstate 59 in Rosenberg. He was driving his mother's BMW, which had been reported stolen.
Walton had been missing and out of touch since the murders – until one clue that tipped off investigators.
“A blue BMW vehicle…We were able to receive surveillance video from the gates leading in and out of that subdivision. The vehicle was leaving at approximately 9 a.m. that Thursday morning,” said Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls.
Walton faces two charges of murder and is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail without bond.
The Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force and the Texas Rangers also were closely involved in the search for Walton.
During a press conference Saturday afternoon, Nehls said Nehls said Ryan Walton is cooperating with investigators and answering all their questions.
Meanwhile, detectives are working to get a warrant to search the car and hopefully find the murder weapon.
The tragic circumstances prompts the question, if Walton is convicted, why?
“The only way we are going to get that information is by speaking to Ryan about his role that he played in this,” Nehls said.
The sheriff’s office said it was shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday when deputies were called to the Lake Pointe Estates subdivision, located in the 24900 block of North Point Place.
Michael Walton, 54, and Lynda Walton, 52, were dead from gunshot wounds, and deputies said they found small-caliber shell casings at the scene. A weapon was not recovered. Officials quickly ruled out the possibility of a murder-suicide.
Deputies said the couple’s 24-year-old son, Derrick, found their bodies, conflicting with earlier reports that the youngest sibling discovered them. The Waltons have a total of four children including 28-year-old son named Donald and an 18-year-old daughter named Shelby.
Ryan was the only one of the victims’ four children that detectives had not been able to locate and question after their parents were found dead, authorities said.
There had been signs of trouble in the past.
“I believe that the family did have issues with Ryan. The extent of those issues I am unaware,” said Nehls.
Ryan had left the home three weeks ago and in 2011 he was arrested for a marijuana possession.
Deputies also said there was forced entry into the home, but that it wasn’t ransacked and it doesn’t look like anything was stolen.
They said the Walton family is prominent in the community, and Michael Walton was a developer of the subdivision where they lived. Because of that, many in the community nicknamed the Walton home “The Governor’s Mansion.”
The father was known for being very active in the community. Neighbors are stunned to learn such a tragedy could happen in a place they considered to be a safe haven. The upper-class community is gated and guarded 24/7.
The couple’s youngest child, Shelby, is due to graduate next week from Katy High School. On Thursday night, the school sent out a letter of support to her classmates and their parents.
”She does have two older brothers, (and) grandparents. It seemed to be a very well-respected family, so she is surrounded by loved ones,” Nehls said.