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State police investigating Madison County triple homicide

by Brianna Kwasnik | February 24, 2021 at 6:48 p.m.

A 22-year-old DeQueen man killed his mother, stepfather, and sister inside an Elkins home after an argument escalated between him and his mother on Tuesday, according to a report from the Madison County prosecuting attorney.

Hunter Chenoweth told officers an argument between him and his mother, Tami Lynn Chenoweth, 51, escalated to where she pointed a weapon at him, the report states. He then fatally shot her, he told officers.

He then got into an argument with his sister, Cheyene Chenoweth, 26, who was in another room, the report states. He fatally stabbed her, according to the report.

According to authorities, Hunter waited for his stepfather, James Stanley McGhee, 59, to return home from work. Hunter told officers he locked the door to communicate with him through the door, the report states. Upon discovering his wife dead, McGhee breached the locked door, holding a knife, the report states, and Hunter fatally shot him.

Deputies with the Madison County sheriff's office received a call around 5 p.m. Tuesday about three people found dead inside the residence at 3487 County Road 6041, according to a state police news release.

Detectives received information about a child who was believed to be at the home and possibly abducted by the killer, according to state police.

Troopers spotted a van matching the description of one of the vehicles around 10:10 p.m. Tuesday traveling west on Interstate 30 near Benton, authorities said.

State police said that after troopers initiated a traffic stop, a passenger in the van exited the vehicle with a rifle and began verbally provoking the troopers.

The driver of the van was a 25-year-old DeQueen woman who was questioned and later released, state police said. Also in the van was the abducted child, police said.

The child was unharmed and turned over to the Department of Human Services.

During the traffic stop, troopers were able to move in behind the armed man and arrest Hunter Chenoweth, state police said.

Chenoweth is being held at the Saline County jail during the course of the investigation. Formal charges will be determined by the Madison County prosecuting attorney, according to the news release.

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