The Unsolved Murder of Blake Chappell

Blake Chappell

Black Tyler Chappell, 17, was born on February 7, 1994. He had been living in Senoia, Georgia, with his mother Melissa Chappell Becker. According to the Neman Times-Herald, Blake “loved rap music and skateboarding, Aeropostale hoodies, skinny jeans and DC shoes.”

Blake enjoyed eating steak and sushi. He also enjoyed playing guitar hero with his friends, which they hailed him a master at. Melissa told the Newnan Times-Herald that Blake had compassion for all living things and would bring home stray animals home and friends who needed a place to sleep.

October 15, 2011

Blake Chappell and his girlfriend, Rion Cameron, had plans to attend the homecoming dance at their high school the night of October 15, 2011. During the afternoon on the day of the dance, Blake’s mother, Melissa Becker, drove Blake to buy a tie. After consulting with Rion and buying his tie, Melissa dropped Blake off at Rion’s house.

Around 5:30 p.m. Rion’s mom, Shannon Cameron, drove the young couple to Tokyo’s, a local restaurant. After dinner, around 7:00 p.m. Shannon picked them up and dropped them off at their high school for homecoming.

After the dance, Shannon picked Blake and Rion up and drove them back to her house. Blake and Rion had watched a movie and around 11:30 p.m. Shannon dropped Blake off at Austin’s house.

Blake called his mother and told her how much fun he had. He had also asked his mom if he could sleep over at his friend Austin’s house. Melissa told him he could but stay but instructed him not to leave the house. Blake and Austin hung out for a few hours. Between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. Blake told Austin he was going to Rion’s house. Austin gave Blake his jacket and a house key and went to sleep. Blake left and walked to Rion’s house. When he arrived, he snuck inside and hung out with Rion until about 5:00 a.m., when her grandmother walked into her room and saw Blake. Blake left the house and started walking back to Austin’s house. On his walk, he sent multiple texts, apologizing to Rion’s mother for having snuck inside her house. He had also texted with Rion. He had told Rion on his walk a police officer, who had asked Blake what he was doing, had stopped him. Rion received his last text around 5:30 a.m.; Blake had been complaining about the cold weather.

Blake is Missing  

Shannon had asked Rion around 6:30 a.m. if she heard from Blake. Neither Shannon nor Rion had heard from him after their last texts. Around 9:30 a.m. Shannon asked Rion to call Austin and ask if Blake was there.

Austin was woken up by his mom around 9:00 a.m. but Austin did not wake up until about 9:30 a.m., when Rion had texted him, asking about Blake. Austin did not see Blake anywhere and reported this to Rion. Shannon and Rion started driving around, looking for any signs of Blake. Shannon called her husband, Matt, and told him what was going on. Mat had left around 8:00 a.m. Mat left early in the morning to meet a friend to get their leased hunting land in Heard County, set up for the season. Matt drove back, arriving around 11:00 a.m. He started searching nearby woods and trails with Austin.

Around 11:00 a.m. on October 16, 2011, Austin stopped a police car that was driving by and explained that his friend was missing. The officer called Blake’s mom and told her that her son was missing, and she should file a missing person’s report.

During the search, a BP clerk was shown a picture of Blake. The clerk recognized Blake as a passerby who stopped at the store around 7:30 a.m. The clerk remembered Blake asking when the store opened.

There had been other potential sightings by friends who were out searching for Blake, but the police did not believe any of the people seen were actually Blake.

Police also investigated the text where Blake said a police officer stopped him. They could not find a report or evidence of what the police officer may have had contact with him. According to the Newnan Herald-Times, it is the procedure for police to ask for identification and call in every stop they make.

Blake’s Remains are Found

On December 19, 2011, police responded to a call for what appeared to be a deceased person in a creek in East Newman. Blake’s lip rings and tattoos would identify his remains. He was found wearing only his underwear. According to news outlets, Blake’s phone, wallet, and clothing were never found.

The medical examiner determined that Blake had been shot. Police have not released many details of the case and have not stated what forensic evidence had been found. They cannot determine the exact date of Blake’s murder, because of the time his remains spent in the water. Though it is listed as 6:00 a.m.

The City of Newnan offered a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for Blake’s death.  

Investigation

Police have spoken with dozens of people and 3 potential suspects, according to The Newnan Times-Herald. Two of these individuals have been cleared; the third potential suspect has not been placed near the crime scene.

None of the interviews has generated any leads. Police have made no arrests in the case. They are still actively investigating Blake’s murder.

If you have information call 404-577-8477 or the Newnan Police Department Tip line 770-254-2350.

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