WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A couple found murdered in Oklahoma this month has ties to Eureka, Kansas. Larry and Debbie Dutton were found buried in the back of their Dewey, Oklahoma, home last week.
In court filings, a 20-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder and discharging a firearm in connection to the case. In another filing, the couple’s 17-year-old granddaughter, who they adopted, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of conspiracy and two counts of desecration of a body.
The two were killed between Dec. 19 and Dec. 20 last year. A month later, they were found buried following a welfare check. Court documents say video from a Ring doorbell shows the two alleged suspects dragging the bodies to the backyard.
The couple’s former church, Eureka United Methodist, is planning a memorial service in their honor. Rev. Linda Pope says it’s rare when any community plans a memorial service for people who no longer live there, but the church felt it was necessary to help process their grief and shock.
“They’re shaken. They’re visibly shaken,” Pope said. “How do we make sense of all of this, and how do we turn this over to a higher power? There, there’s just so many unanswered questions.”
Another devastating blow is learning that the Dutton’s adopted daughter is one of two suspects charged in their murders.
Larry Dutton was a manager at the Eureka Municipal Airport and leader within the local Boy Scout troop.
“I’ve talked to people whose kids were in scouting and how much they appreciated Larry for what he did for our kids,” Pope said.
The church’s worship committee is organizing the service in hopes of highlighting not how they died but how they lived.
“Everybody knows about their death, but there’s much to celebrate about their lives. We can’t predict what’s going to happen, but we felt like we needed to do something,” Pope said.
The memorial service will take place Sunday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. A Facebook post from the church says all are welcome to attend.