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Teen runaways accused of murder of Stone County couple

February 01, 2013|Lauren Pozen, KSPR News | lpozen@kspr.com

NEAR LAMPE, Mo.-- Two juveniles accused in the killing of a couple at their home on Table Rock Lake Thursday had been staying at a nearby boys ranch.

Paul and Margaret Brooks were killed inside a house just three miles from the home for at-risk boys.

Administrators of the "Lives Under Construction" Boys Ranch in Lampe tell KSPR News the two had run away.

Here's a statement the boys ranch released Friday.

February 1, 2013

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff and boys of LUC, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victims. We grieve the loss of these members of our community and we hold the safety and welfare of all the people in our community in the highest regard.

While I cannot address all the specific questions pertaining to the two boys in custody - I can tell you that LUC has been in operation for 30 years, has had over 350 boys go through the program and has seen God work tremendous miracles in the lives of our boys. We will continue our mission to provide the opportunity of restoration and rehabilitation in the lives of the boys that are placed in our care.

Richard Bottorf
Chairman of the Board of Directors

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Deputies say the couple was from Michigan and were staying in a family member's lake house. This tragedy, some in the community say, hit's a little too close to home.

"it is a very scary thing to happen especially right close in your backyard, " says Sharon Stimson.

She is the assistant manager at Ha-Bob's market in Lampe. People in the area consider it the gathering place. Word there traveled fast of the double- homicide.

"it is very tragic, very sad. Anybody that loses their life that's too sad, over probably nothing," says Stimson.

Thursday night, a neighbor called 911 for deputies to come to a burglary at 1722 Trace Hollow Road.

Deputies found a neighbor holding two boys, ages 15 and 16, at gunpoint. 

"He just confronted them. They had tried to run around the house and that's when he held them at gun point, " says Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader.

Next door, deputies found the couple dead. Robert Phroper lives down the street. He was at work when the teens were found.

"You just never know. It is a pretty wild county down here," he says.

Phroper says several in his neighborhood have been the victims of crime, but nothing like this.

"There is a gentleman that goes up and down the road - keeps an eye on things. They have had mail boxes broken into," says Phroper.

As the town of Lampe comes together during this unexpected tragedy, people are calling the neighbor who held the teens at gun-point, a hero. 

"Whoever they are they should be commended because that says a lot for them to go into the house that's been broken into, says Stimson.

Deputies do not know if the teens targeted the Brook's or if they were victim's from a random act of violence. Sheriff Rader did say the teens were staying next door.

An autopsy is set for Saturday on the victims. The teens are being held by juvenile authorities, but prosecutors have not yet filed charges.

Under Missouri Law, the pair could be charged as adults.

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