Official: Police presume body is Dennehy's

Acting on a tip from suspect Carlton Dotson, authorities searched for the missing Dennehy Saturday in an open field near the Baylor campus and only about four miles from Dennehy's former apartment. A badly decomposed body was found, and it has police intially believing that it is that of the missing Baylor basketball player.

WACO, Texas (CNN) -- A body was found Saturday outside Waco, Texas, where authorities had been searching for missing Baylor University basketball player Patrick Dennehy, law enforcement officials said.

A Waco law enforcement official told CNN that authorities believe the body is Dennehy's.

"I think they're presuming it is Dennehy's body," Sgt. Ryan Holt of the Waco Police Department said.

However, McLennan County Sheriff Larry Lynch said the body, found outside the Waco city limits, had not been identified and was sent to the Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas, for an autopsy and identification.

Television news crews videotaped officials removing the body, covered in a blue wrap on a gurney, from a white Ford Windstar minivan. The body appeared to be very long. Dennehy stands 6-feet-10-inches.

Brian Brabazon, Dennehy's stepfather, told CNN that the sheriff's department telephoned him to report the finding, but did not say the body was his stepson's.

Lynch said the body was badly decomposed. He would not describe the clothes found on the body or any evidence found in the area.

It is not known how long it will take to identify the body.

Dennehy has not been seen since June 12 and is presumed dead. His former roommate and teammate, Carlton Dotson, was arrested Monday in Chestertown, Maryland, and charged with killing him. (CNN/SI's report)

Police said the body was found in an abandoned gravel pit about five miles from the Baylor campus. Lynch said it was near an area that had been searched before.

A source close to the investigation told CNN that authorities went to the location based on information they obtained during an interview with Dotson.

Dotson confessed to the crime while talking to FBI agents, according to an arrest warrant issued by Waco police. (Full story) The warrant states that Dennehy was killed by a handgun.

Outside a courthouse in Chestertown on Monday night, Dotson told a reporter with The Associated Press, "I didn't confess to anything."

Dotson attorney Grady Irvin Jr. told CNN that he spoke with his client Tuesday and is "very concerned about his well-being at this time."

He said Dotson's mental state is obviously in question, and "any statements that were given by Mr. Dotson, if any, couldn't have been [given] freely, couldn't have been voluntary, and couldn't have been done while he was coherent in any way, shape or form."

Missing since June 12

Patrick Dennehy, 21, was last seen alive June 12.  His Chevrolet SUV was found June 25.
Patrick Dennehy, 21, was last seen alive June 12. His Chevrolet SUV was found June 25.

Dennehy, 21, was last seen alive June 12, and was reported missing by his family June 19. His 1996 Chevrolet SUV turned up June 25 -- without its license plates -- in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Holt refused to say whether Dotson told authorities where Dennehy's body is.

"There's always the hope, the very sincere hope, that we find Mr. Dennehy, mostly for his family and then for the criminal case," Holt said.

An informant's account in an affidavit given to police said Dotson shot Dennehy during an argument while the two were shooting guns in a field north of Waco. Dotson had previously been questioned by Waco police but had not been named a suspect, and a search of the field did not turn up a body.

Holt confirmed that investigators are performing forensic tests and trying to trace a 9 mm Glock handgun that was recovered in south Waco and handed over to police.

Dotson, meanwhile, is being held without bond in Kent County, Maryland, after he refused to waive his right to an extradition hearing. A hearing will likely be held within a month.

Dennehy, a 6-foot-10-inch center, was considered a top recruit to Baylor, having transferred the year before from the University of New Mexico. College basketball rules forced him to sit out the past season, but he was expected to get playing time this fall.


The staff at extends its sympathy to the Dennehy family. The entire university is in our thoughts, and as a part of the Big 12 family, our support will always be present.

Please pass on your sympathies to those in the Baylor basketball family:

Thee Bears Den :


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