Trinity County sheriff says couple chained, gagged mother for hours before killing her

New details about the murders of an East Texas couple
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 3:34 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT
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TRINITY COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - An arrest affidavit for two people accused of killing a Trinity County couple reveals text messages between the two suspects talking about the act.

Jacob Patrick Chrones, 34, and his wife, Adeline Esmerelda Aparicio-Rodriguez, 35. are charged with the murder of Clayton and Karen Waters, as well as tampering with physical evidence. Their bonds are set at $1.5 million bond for the murder charge and $50K bond for tampering with physical evidence, for each subject.

Karen Waters was the mother of Jacob Chrones.

Jacob Patrick Chrones, 34, and his wife, Adeline Esmerelda Aparicio-Rodriguez, 35. are charged with the murder of Clayton and Karen Waters, as well as tampering

According to an affidavit, text messages between Rodriguez and Chrones revealed messages stating, “Got her...go to Lufkin, she is being a bad girl,” “got the package in the room, resistance....whole t.” One message also states, “Trying to keep her alive till you get back.”

Deputies had conducted welfare checks at Karen and Clayton’s home after Clayton’s supervisor reported him missing from work for several days with no communication.

Rodriguez had told deputies the two were on vacation, however, cellphone data, financial records, and checks of the home reveal no evidence the two had traveled or went anywhere voluntarily.

“Clayton is not going to go on vacation without notifying work, He just didn’t show up for work that was totally unusual. He wouldn’t have just went on vacation with his wife anywhere because they were somewhat estranged,” said Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace.

The sheriff’s office thought it might have turned sinister early on into their investigation.

“Within the first day we knew something was up. Foul play, but we just had nothing to corroborate that,” Wallace said.

The sheriff’s office turned to Chrones and Rodriguez. They both claimed Karen and Clayton went to take care of Karen’s mother, and they even provided screenshots to the sheriff’s office where they told Karen to contact authorities to say they were okay. Their helpfulness caught the suspicion of the sheriff’s office.

“They were nervous, somewhat suspicious. So we just started checking in on them, checking in on what was going on, and we finally got a small break,” Wallace said.

That small break was through phone records. Karen’s phone was still giving GPS coordinates, and had her phone following the same route that Chrones took to get home.

Wallace says that Chrones and his wife started to panic which led to an arrest for tampering with evidence and confessions came next during interviews.

Karen had been lured to her son’s house.

“Eventually taken into a room and she was chained and gagged with a ball. And was held for what we think several hours before she was actually murdered,” Wallace said.

Clayton was killed shortly afterwards. Their bodies were cremated in Chrones’ firepit in his backyard.

“It was discovered the bodies were destroyed by a fire completely to the point there was very little left,” Wallace said.

Wallace says not even all the information is out, and adds that it’s the worst murder he’s uncovered in Trinity County.

“This took so many bizarre twist and turns, it was mindboggling. You can’t make this kind of stuff up,” Wallace said.

Wallace said the couple claim Clayton Waters hired them to kill Karen Waters. They then claim to have killed Clayton Waters in a following argument. Wallace said this claim is under investigation.

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