HONDO, N.M. — A 14-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with murdering his father, stepmother and stepsister after their bodies were unearthed from a shallow grave on ABC newsman Sam Donaldson's ranch.
Cody Posey was arrested at a friend's home in the Hondo area around 5 p.m., Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan said.
The dead were identified as ranch manager Delbert Paul Posey, who is the teenager's father; his stepsister, Mary Lee Schmid, 14; and his stepmother, Tryone Posey.
Their bodies were found earlier Wednesday in a shallow grave on Donaldson's Chavez Canyon Ranch. Sullivan released no other details about the crime, including how it occurred and what weapon was used.
Cody Posey was detained under the state's youthful offender law on three open counts of murder and four counts of tampering with evidence. An initial court appearance is set for today, Sullivan said.
New Mexico law provides for the possibility of adult penalties if convicted, he added.
Donaldson said he and his wife, Jan, hired Paul Posey to work at the ranch in 2001.
"Jan and I are so very, very sorry about the loss of these fine people," Donaldson said in a statement. Donaldson and his wife were in Santa Fe during the Fourth of July weekend when the crimes apparently occurred.
"We didn't see them Tuesday morning or Tuesday afternoon, so I went over and on the porch was a large stain that was instantly recognizable," Donaldson told Albuquerque television station KOB-TV at a news conference late Wednesday.
Donaldson called the sheriff's office after discovering the "obvious crime scene." Deputies then searched the area and found the graves.