Balloon release taking place in honor of Lake Brownwood murder victim’s birthday

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BROWN COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A balloon release will take place Sunday to honor the birthday of a Lake Brownwood murder victim sexually assaulted and beaten to death in May of 2016. 

The family of Rhonda ‘Chantay’ Blankinship is inviting the public to the ceremony at Pleasant Valley Cemetery at 4:00 p.m. where a balloon release, moment of silence, and prayer will take place before her birthday is celebrated. 

Blankship’s family says they are releasing 27 balloons because that’s how old she would have been this year. 

Pleasant Valley Cemetery is located at the intersection of FM 2273 and CR 419 in May, Texas. 

Exactly 1 year and 6 months to the date Blankinship’s body was found inside an abandoned cellar in rural Brown County, suspect Ryan Riggs confessed to the crime in front of a congregation at a church both he and Blankinship attended. 

He was taken into custody Wednesday night after reiterating the confession to detectives and is now being held in the Brown County Jail without bond for Capital Murder.

During a press conference, Brown County Sheriff Vance Hill said Riggs decided to come forward after a DNA Phenotype profile, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Riggs, was released. 

More information about the press conference, crime, and Riggs’ arrest can be found at this link

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