Bodies of Missing Fannin County Family Found

Couple's son is charged with their murders

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    Sheriff's deputies in Fannin County have discovered bodies that belong to three people missing since Sunday, January 15.

    The Fannin County Sheriff told reporters Saturday evening that the bodies were discovered in neighboring Grayson County.  The crime scene is a pasture 11 miles south of Sherman near state Highway 11 and Farm-to-Market Road 1417.

    Missing Fannin County Family Found Dead

    [DFW] Missing Fannin County Family Found Dead
    Sheriff's deputies in Fannin County have discovered bodies belonging to three people missing since Sunday. (Published Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012)

    “We believe at this time that they are probably the three missing people from Fannin County," said Fannin County Sheriff Donny Foster on Saturday.

    The Dallas County Medical Examiner confirmed Sunday that the bodies found belong to Harold and Sue Harpst and Sue's daughter, Regina Taunton, who all disappeared last week.

    Foster said that a deputy was following up on leads concerning the couple’s missing van, drove by a portion of the pasture on SH 11 that is usually secured by a gate, but the deputy noticed that the gate was opened. That raised his suspicion and led him onto the property, making the gruesome discovery.

    “He walked back behind one of the barns [on the property] and he noticed bodies,” said Foster.

    Police still do not know how the victims were killed or how they ended up in the pasture. But one suspect, Thomas Taunton, Sue Harpst's son is in custody in DeSoto Parrish, La.  He is charged with the murders based on evidence found at the Harpst's house in Fannin County earlier in the week.

    Foster said that if Taunton signs his extradition warrant, Fannin County authorities will go to Louisiana pick him up and bring him back to North Texas. Otherwise, they'll seek a governor's warrant and bring him back that way.

    The three bodies were transferred to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office for identification.