A Columbus man was arrested Monday and is facing capital murder charges stemming from a double murder in rural northwestern Cherokee County.
Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies and detectives were called to the scene south of Carona near Northwest 19th Terrace and Cardinal Lane at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, where the bodies of an adult male and an adult female were discovered. Both had been shot.
The victims were identified as Blaze Swank, 27, of rural Scammon and Kylan Shook, 20, of Pittsburg.
Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said the Kansas Bureau of Investigation was assisting. Law enforcement continued to process evidence from the scene Sunday. In addition, investigative teams interviewed family and friends of both victims to determine what events led up to their deaths.
“Our detectives, along with agents from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, conducted dozens of interviews and served search warrants throughout the day Sunday, which led us to seek an arrest warrant for Mark Gerald Hopkins II,” Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said in a prepared statement.
Cherokee County Attorney Jake Conard obtained an arrest warrant for Hopkins late Sunday evening, charging him with capital murder.
Groves said that about 3 a.m. Monday, Hopkins was located near Fairland, Oklahoma. Despite his attempt to flee on foot, he was apprehended and is now being held in the Ottawa County (Oklahoma) Jail, pending extradition to Kansas.
Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to contact law enforcement at 800-KS-CRIME, 620-429-3992 or by texting “tip cherokee” followed by the information to 888777.