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Form Hope To Horor In Slain Student’s Hometown With PM-Satanic Slayings, Bjt

April 12, 1989

SANTA FE, Texas (AP) _ Hope turned to horror in a small Texas town where residents had been raising money to help a family find their missing 21-year-old son.

News of the discovery of the body of Mark Kilroy, with at least 11 others slain in apparent satanic rituals on a ranch in Mexico, quickly spread through the town about 30 miles south of Houston. Kilroy disappeared a month ago.

″It’s like a nightmare,″ said Mary delaHoussaye, a close friend of Kilroy’s mother, Helen. ″I really can’t believe it. Helen and I said it over and over that we just want to wake up and not believe that it’s true.″

Doris Williams, a clerk at a convenience store, said: ″Even though it had been almost a month, everyone was really hoping he’d still be alive. Everybody’s heart is going out to that family.″

Cheryl Gautier, who was dining Tuesday at the Busy Bee Cafe, said: ″Most people felt that when they found him, he’d be dead. But I didn’t want to discourage anyone from thinking otherwise. I thought he’d be dead, probably shot, but the manner in which he was killed is unreal.″

Santa Fe residents have been donating their time and money to help Mrs. Kilroy and her husband, James, search for their son.

Last weekend, proceeds from a citywide garage sale and carwash went toward a fund set up for the Kilroys.

A yellow ribbon ceremony had been scheduled for today to draw attention to Kilroy’s disappearance. The ceremony was being turned into a memorial service.

″This little town is real supportive. We’re like a big family,″ Joe Nichols, state prison guard, said of the community of 5,400. ″They may not know you, but they support you.″

″It’s nice to see Santa Fe help each other, to get money for his parents to go down there and try to find him. It’s nice,″ said Victor LaPoint, a cashier at the Busy Bee Cafe.

Since Kilroy’s disappearance during a spring break excursion, the family had distributed about 20,000 fliers in Brownsville and Matamoros as well as appealing to state lawmakers to help with the search.

Law officers on both sides of the border had been stumped by the disappearance, with no clues despite an intensive search, the questioning of nearly 100 people and a $15,000 reward.

Kilroy’s disappearance also was re-enacted for a segment on the Fox television network’s ″America’s Most Wanted″ program.

The mother of Bill Huddleston, one of the students with Kilroy the night he vanished, took the Kilroys from their Santa Fe home to the airport Tuesday for the trip to Brownsville, near the Mexican town where the bodies were found.

″Helen (Kilroy) of course is very upset after finding out the news that it really was Mark down there,″ Gwen Huddleston said. ″They went down there in hopes that it wouldn’t be, but it didn’t turn out that way.″

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