Duffield Murders - 20 Jan 1983 - Salina Journal, Kansas
is UPI Photo A youngster and his dog watch as police search the Olathe neighborhood where a girl was killed. Tight-lipped police in Olathe refuse to comment on bizarre murder case OLATHE, Kan. (UPI) — Police refused Saturday to discuss a bizarre case in which a 12-year-old girl was beaten to death, her brother seriously injured and her older sister apparently abducted while their father lay asleep in an upstairs room. Police in an afternoon news release said investigators had no suspects and no new evidence in the case and that bloodhounds from the state prison at Lansing had failed to pick up the scent of the missing girl or of a suspect. But the search continued for Kelly Rea Duffield, 17, a high school senior described as being about five feet tall, weighing 115 pounds and having dark- brown, shoulder-length hair and pierced ears. Her brother, Paul Duffield, 15, had been beaten about the head, so severely police at first thought he had been shot. He underwent brain surgery Friday and was listed in serious but stable condition at Shawnee Mission Medical Center in nearby Merriam. Dead was Janelle Lea Duffield, 12, who also had been beaten. She was found in her bedroom about 5 a.m. Friday by her father, John Duffield, who told police he was asleep upstairs in his room at the time of the beatings and abduction. The children's mother, Carole, a night-shift registered nurse, was at work at the time of the incident. Police said Duffield claimed he had fallen asleep in an upstairs room of his duplex home while watching television. About 5 a.m. the father said he was awakened by cries of help from his son from a downstairs room. According to officers, Duffield tried to call police but found that his telephone was not working. He then went to his duplex neighbor's home for help but also found their phone out of service. Police said the phone connections had been cut from outside the building. The body of Janelle, a seventh grader at Indian Trail Junior High School, was found in her bedroom on the lower-level of the family's home. Both the young girl and her brother had been beaten on the head, authorities said. Police found the severely injured boy lying on the living room floor of the duplex. The older sister was reported missing after police were called to the scene at 5:16 a.m. "It's baffling to me," Jim Smith, principal at the young girl's junior high school, told the Kansas City Times. "It's mind-bending. We're in a lot of sorrow here." Smith and Dave Jones, principal at Olathe South High School — where Paul is a sophomore and Kelly is a senior — said several students left school after hearing of the incident. A fluttering strip of orange evidence tape was placed in front of the Duffields' pine-green and brick duplex on Friday, and throughout the day investigators moved in and out of the wood- shingled residence. At one time Friday, there were about 40 investigtors scouring the quiet neighborhood for evidence, Capt. Bob Patterson said. It did not appear there had been a struggle in the Duffield house, said William Shepard, the city's public safety director, who added that the house was not in disarray when investigators arrived. A public affairs officer for the local police department said the teenager was missing and that until they find and interview the girl, details of the incident remain sketchy. Paul's recollection of the incident has been impaired by his injuries. "He has given us a lot of information, but as to what value it will be, I do not know," a police spokesman said.