One of Mary N. Knight’s sons says that Tanya Torrence was at the home Saturday night and wanted to borrow Knight’s van to move a scooter. Knight was the mother of Torrence’s former boyfriend and Torrence had been staying with her for a few days. The two left and when they did not return by Sunday morning, the family reported her missing as a suspected abduction.
Knight’s family says that Torrence had dated Knight’s younger son Ronnie for about 6 years, but they broke up this spring. Knight was on medication for high blood pressure and heart problems and left home without her medication.
On Mon. police say that Tonya Torrence calmly walked into a police station in another state about 270 miles away and told police she was the one they were looking for. She also told them there was a body in the van she had driven to the station. Police had been monitoring Torrence’s cell phone signal, and had alerted police in the area to be on alert for Torrence.
Police found what they believe to be the body of Mary Knight, 72, in the van outside the police station. She had been shot twice in the chest. Autopsy and positive identification by the coroner’s office had not been completed.
Police are not giving a motive for the crime or why Torrence turned herself in. What they are saying is “It’s a first for us, to turn yourself in and bring the evidence with you.”
Torrence is expected to be charged with murder, abduction and firearms offenses in one state, and is being held on abuse of a corpse and fugitive charges in the second state.
Many times if a child has a long term relationship, after the relationship is over the family may still feel some attachment to the person. So it isn’t really surprising that when Torrence showed up asking for assistance, that the family might agree to help.
Yet no matter how family members feel about the breakup, there is often a bit of tension there. Police say that an argument occured between Torrence and Knight while they were out in the van. I can’t help but wonder if the argument had something to do with the previous relationship or whether it was related to Torrence staying with her.
State charges are about to be dropped, as federal charges of kidnapping resulting in death have been issued. Torrence alleges that while the two were driving, there was an exchange of words. And allegedly Torrence has stated that she took the gun out and “She asked me what I was going to do with that and I told her that I was going to show Ronnie how it felt to throw people away.” “I was going to shoot myself in front of her and she grabbed my arm and I tried to pull over to the shoulder and then she grabbed the steering wheel while I was trying to pull over.” Reportedly “I was slowing down and we had more words and I shot her the first time and when I stopped I shot her again.”