Confessing to the crime at same church where Brownwood murder suspect met victim

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - A suspect is behind bars for a 2016 murder of a young Brownwood woman, after confessing to the crime to his church congregation.

It's the same church where Pastor Ron Keener says 21-year-old Ryan Riggs met 25-year-old Chantay Blankenship. 

"He came to me and said 'I need to confess something to you,'" stated Pastor Ron Keener. "'I murdered her.'"

Pastor Keener says he knew Riggs was being sought by Brown County authorities for the murder of Blankenship. 

The tips came in after a composite sketch was made from DNA found at the crime scene. 

"He kept saying, 'I'm so sorry,'" added Pastor Keener. 

Riggs not only confessed to his pastor but to the whole congregation as well.

Something Pastor Keener says he's never experienced in his 48 years as a minister. 

"With tears in his eyes, he confessed what he had done and in all of that, my own heart was grieveing."

That's because the victim, Chantay was also a member of the church. 

"We've been going through this for such a long time that it doesn't seem real," explained Chantay's mother Michelle McDaniel.

The reality of who might have killed her daughter was right there all along. 

Steven McDaniel, Chantay's step-father, says Riggs attended a candlelight vigil and even helped search for her when she went missing.

Now, with someone behind bars for the crime, Blankenship's family says there is closure but they will never stop celebrating her life. 

"She will never be forgotten," said McDaniel. 






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