Body of suspect in Kansas double homicide found, victims identified


HILL CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A suspect in a homicide in northwestern Kansas has been found dead.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says the body of 29-year-old Efren Mascarenas Jr. was found in northeast Graham County. The preliminary autopsy of Efren Mascarenas, Jr. revealed he likely died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities began searching for Mascarenas after a man and woman were found dead Thursday in the unincorporated town of Penokee, near Hill City.  The victims have been identified the victims of the homicides. Efren Mascarenas, Sr., 52, of Penokee, and Christin Cantrell, 28, of Penokee.

Both victims were living in the home they were found in. Efren was the father of 29-year-old Efren Mascarenas, Jr., Christin was his step-sister.

Graham County Sheriff Cole Pressley said social media helped in the investigation.

“Information through social media and through several other outlets helped us locate the vehicle here in Hill City. We began to look for it. The vehicle was eventually located in the northeast corner of Graham County at about 6:30,” Presley said.

He said it’s still not clear what caused the incident.

“So we need to try to determine why. What brought this on? I mean it’s, those are questions that we need to try to establish.”

Kansas Department of Corrections records show Mascarenas has three prior convictions for aggravated battery and another for interference with law enforcement. He was released from prison in February of 2017 and his post-release expired in August.

The Hill City Police Department, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the KBI and several other area law enforcement agencies have assisted in this case.

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