McALLEN, Texas (AP) — Hours after a man fatally shot one of his girlfriend's sons and critically injured another in a South Texas hotel room as police tried to check on the family, police found what they believe to be the body of children's mother, authorities said.
Laredo Police spokesman Joe Baeza said officers arrested 36-year-old Demond Bluntson at the Holiday Inn-Civic Center in Laredo and were holding him pending formal charges. Baeza said police were consulting prosecutors about the charges Tuesday evening.
Police went to the hotel about midday after receiving a call from police in the family's hometown of El Campo, a city more than 200 miles northeast of Laredo, saying the family might be in some kind of trouble, Baeza said.
The desk clerk directed officers to a room on the 14th floor, where they knocked, identified themselves as police and immediately heard several shots, Baeza said. One shot came through the room door and narrowly missed two officers, he said.
Police cleared the building, which was packed with a convention, then entered the room and arrested Bluntson.
Police determined the boys' mother, Brandy Cerny, had not checked into the hotel.
Cerny's 21-month-old boy was declared dead at the scene, while her 6-year-old son was hospitalized, Baeza said.
Hours later an El Campo resident discovered a woman's body on a property that was not where the Cernys lived, said El Campo Police Chief Terry Stanphill.
"We believe it to be (Cerny's) body," Stanphill said. He said the body was found in an outbuilding on a property that was not the Cernys'. He declined to release additional details.
Prior to that discovery, family members were already reeling from the attack on the boys.
"We're all extremely distraught," Cerny's aunt Dianne Cerny told The Associated Press. "Brandy is a bright, beautiful woman, and the boys were both absolutely delightful."
Dianne Cerny told the AP that Bluntson is the father of younger boy, Davian. She said 6-year-old Jaydin remained on life support Tuesday evening.
"We're all devastated," she said. She described Jaydin as loving football, and said Davian never stopped smiling.
Stanphill said his officers began investigating Monday when Brandy Cerny's father, Lloyd Cerny, filed a missing person's report after she did not show up for work. He said investigators contacted Laredo police after developing a lead.
Dianne Cerny said family members last saw Brandy Cerny and her boys at church Sunday morning. The close-knit family had gathered the night before to celebrate Father's Day, she said.