Texas wife sought divorce before she, 4 others were killed

US police have yet to identify the person who killed a couple and three of their relatives inside a home in eastern Texas on February 11, 2019 (Shutterstock image)
Updated 14 February 2019

Texas wife sought divorce before she, 4 others were killed

  • Court records show that Horn petitioned to divorce her husband on Oct. 15, 2018 while they were living in Splendora, Texas

BLANCHARD, Texas: An East Texas woman who was shot dead along with her husband and three other family members sought a divorce last year.
Ashley Raileen Horn filed to divorcee Randy Joe Horn in October of 2018, according to Montgomery County court records. The case was dismissed less than a month later.
Beyond the request for divorce, the slim court file offers few clues about what lay between the 27-year-old woman and 54-year-old man who were found dead along with Ashley’s grandparents, Carlos and Lynda Delaney, and a 15-month-old girl in the elder couple’s home about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of Houston.
On Monday, the Polk County Sheriff’s office launched an investigation into the killings after a neighbor came upon across three bodies outside the Blanchard house and told her son to call police. After arriving, deputies found two more people dead inside.
Sheriff’s Capt. Rickie Childers declined to comment on the divorce filing Wednesday, saying that more information would not be released until medical examiner’s reports come back.
Sheriff’s officials have said no suspects are being sought in the case but have declined to characterize the shootings as homicides and a suicide. They have also identified Ashley by her maiden name, Delaney.
Court records show that Horn petitioned to divorce her husband on Oct. 15, 2018 while they were living in Splendora, Texas. The case was dismissed without prejudice in early November after she filed paperwork to withdraw. The court records do not make clear what motivated either filing.
Sheriff’s officials have also declined to discuss any suspected motive for the killings.


UK police arrest ‘iconic’ criminals in biggest ever operation after encryption breakthrough

Updated 8 min 33 sec ago

UK police arrest ‘iconic’ criminals in biggest ever operation after encryption breakthrough

LONDON: British police said on Thursday they had carried out their biggest operation ever, arresting “iconic” figures and smashing thousands of conspiracies including murder plots after infiltrating a communications service used by criminals.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the cracking of the encryption used by EncroChat, which offered a secure mobile phone instant messaging service and was used by criminals to coordinate their activities, had allowed detectives across the country to make almost 750 arrests.
The agency said it also meant a specialist team had been able to stop rival gangs carrying out kidnappings and executions, “successfully mitigating over 200 threats to life.”
“Together we’ve protected the public by arresting middle-tier criminals and the kingpins, the so-called iconic untouchables who have evaded law enforcement for years, and now we have the evidence to prosecute them,” said NCA Director of Investigations Nikki Holland.
The NCA said it had been working with international partners since 2016 to crack EncroChat which it described as a bespoke encrypted global communications service used exclusively by criminals.
Two months ago, French and Dutch investigators infiltrated the platform, which had 60,000 users worldwide and around 10,000 in the United Kingdom and shared the data via Europol, allowing the authorities to monitor criminals’ messages and movements.
EncroChat, which has now been shut down, had advised its users to throw away their handsets on June 13 after realizing it had been compromised.
However, British police have made 746 arrests, claimed £54 million ($67 million) in criminal cash, seized 77 firearms, including an assault rifle and sub-machine guns, and more than two tons of drugs, the NCA said.
It added that entire networks had been dismantled in the most significant operation of its kind. Other European law enforcement agencies have also used the information to target crime groups.