POLICE have released details of a bizarre suicide note left by a teenager accused of killing his underage cheerleader girlfriend.
Paul Audrey Adams, 19, killed himself in front of police as they closed in on him at a campsite in Texas last week.
His suicide came less than a day after his 14-year-old girlfriend Tristan Dilley was found dead in bed by her younger brother. Police allege Tristan was killed the same weapon Adams used to take his own life.
During a fraught phone call with Tristan’s mother in the hours after her body was found, Adams insisted she had been killed by an intruder who broke into her home while he was secretly visiting her.
Now police have revealed the contents of a suicide letter Adams scrawled on eight index cards found “neatly stacked and weighed down” with a hunting knife on the bonnet of his Toyota Corrolla. Yellow and purple flowers were tucked under the knife
“I know what you’re thinking but I didn’t kill her,” the note reads in part. “I loved Tristan with all my heart. I know we shouldn’t have snuck around but I also know she’s 14 and I am 19 but that did not matter to us.”
He repeated his claim about the high school cheerleader having been killed by an intruder.
“We thought it was her parents, but it was some man,” Adams wrote.
“Thinking it was her parents, I hid in the bathroom, but I realised it wasn’t her parents when Tristan started screaming.”
Adams apologised and said he couldn’t live knowing that he was “too much of a coward to do anything about it”.
“Now this is all happened I feel it will just be better to end my life,” he wrote.
Tristan was killed just two days before her 15th birthday. She was found lying face down in a pool of blood in her bed by her younger brother. Her mother had thought she was sleeping.
Lieutenant Ryan Cunningham from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office yesterday has revealed more detail about what police found at a campsite in Vidor where Adams fled in the wake of Tristan’s death.
Investigators found the Lamar State College nursing student lying next to his car next to an irrigation canal less than 24 hours after he allegedly shot Tristan dead.
As officers closed in on Adams in his tent, he shot himself in the head.
“He was waiting for us to show up,” Lt Cunningham told People magazine. “He just didn’t know when we were coming.”
Among his belongings were an axe, a machete, two hatchets, four camping knives, 32 meal rations, four cases of water, four burlap sacks, duct tape and eight sets of handcuffs. And his suicide note.
Lt. Cunningham said Adams began to buy the items, mostly from the local Wal-Mart, in the week before Tristan’s murder, indicating premeditation. Police believe he was planning to dismember and dispose of the girl’s body in the nearby canal.
“He spent around US$1,500 or US$1,600 (up to AUD2000),” he said.
Police also found $570 (AUD 727) in cash at the campsite as well as an anatomy book, which would not be unusual by itself given that Adams was a nursing student.
Police may never know the truth about why Tristan was killed. Neither teen’s parents had any idea they were seeing each other so it was not a “start crossed lovers” scenario.
“It was senseless, and it makes no sense,” Lt Cunningham said. “There are so many questions we can’t answer. We will never know what was going on in his mind and what was said between them.”
Family and friends farewelled Tristan at a funeral attended by hundreds in Buna, Texas last weekend.