Travis County man may have shot daughter before killing self

TRAVIS COUNTY

Man may have shot daughter before killing self

Authorities on Wednesday have identified a 9-year-old girl who was found dead Monday with her father in their southwest Travis County home.

Evidence suggests that 42-year-old Yariv Kaplan man shot his daughter, Lielle, before turning the gun on himself, the Travis County sheriff’s office said.

Lielle Kaplan’s death was ruled a homicide, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday. Authorities said on Tuesday that her father’s wounds were self-inflicted.

Travis County deputies first responded to their home in the 8000 block of El Dorado Drive in the Granada Hills subdivision at 5:44 a.m. Monday, officials said.

The first deputy who arrived at the home knocked on the door but got no answer, officials said. Deputies determined that someone could be in danger, so they entered the house, where they found the man and the girl dead.

— Katie Hall, American-Statesman

GEORGETOWN

Police: Man stole headstone for Satanic worship

An Austin man is accused of stealing a headstone from a Georgetown cemetery that he said was going to be used for an altar for Satanic worship, an affidavit said.

Jeremiah Rhyne, 38, was charged with theft of grave property, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail.

Police found the headstone from 1884 leaning against a living room wall on Oct. 15 inside an apartment at 550 W. 22nd St. in Georgetown, the affidavit said. It said police were investigating the death of the woman who lived there. The affidavit did not include her name.

The name on the headstone found in her apartment was Willie Sharp Holt, who died at age 28 on July 22, 1884, according to the affidavit.

It said an officer received a phone call Oct. 15 from a friend of the dead woman saying Rhyne had stolen the headstone and that she had the text messages to prove it. Police later learned that Holt’s grave was at the Odd Fellow’s Cemetery at 701 Smith Creek Road in Georgetown, the affidavit said.

Investigators returned the headstone to the Georgetown Parks and Recreation Division, which runs the cemetery, the document said. It said Rhyne told police that he didn’t know which cemetery the headstone came from.

Rhyne said “he knew the deceased was involved in some type of Satanic worship and the headstone was for her altar,” the affidavit said.

It said Rhyne also told police that the woman had driven him to the cemetery. He said he filled up a bag of dirt at the cemetery and that the bag was still in the now-deceased woman’s apartment, the affidavit said.

It said Rhyne also admitted he carried the headstone up the stairs to her apartment and put it inside.

Rhyne was not in custody Tuesday at the Williamson County Jail.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman

NORTHWEST AUSTIN

Crews pull man from wreck, EMS says

Medics and Austin fire crews responded around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to a crash involving an 18-wheeler and another vehicle in Northwest Austin.

Austin-Travis County EMS reported that medics pulled a man in his 60s from the other vehicle in the wreck on Bell Mountain Drive at FM 2222.

He was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center in downtown Austin with potentially serious injuries, EMS officials reported.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured, EMS said.

— Roberto Villalpando, American-Statesman