LINCOLN COUNTY – Details on the murder of Kay Ricks and the events leading up to his murder were released on Tuesday. Flint and Dereck Harrison were officially charged with his murder in Wyoming.
The Harrison were officially charged in Lincoln County with several felonies including first-degree murder. They were also charged with felony kidnapping and wrongful taking or disposing of property. The Harrisons face death if convicted. In a press conference on Tuesday, Lincoln County Attorney Spencer Allred would not say if his office will seek the death penalty.
Court documents filed in Lincoln County go through details of the kidnapping and murder of the UTA worker beginning on May 10. Centerville Police responded to a reported kidnapping and aggravated assault involving five female victims. Flint and Dereck Harrison, who are currently in Utah facing these charges, were named as the suspects. On May 11, arrest warrants were issued for the father and son.
On May 12, at approximately 3 p.m., Kay Porter Ricks arrived for his work shift with the Utah Transit Authority. Ricks left the yard at 4:15 p.m. and at approximately 4:59 p.m., a commotion was transmitted over Ricks’ radio which was followed by his radio being turned off. UTA attempts to contact Ricks were unsuccessful. Finally, on May 13 at 12:05 a.m., UTA reported Ricks missing to the Salt Lake City Police Department. About an hour later, Rick’s wife also reported him missing.
Meanwhile, law enforcement investigating the Harrisons learned about ties in Pinedale and law enforcement began focusing their efforts in the area. On May 14 at 1:23 a.m., Flint Harrison surrendered to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office and was interviewed.
The documents state that Flint Harrison told investigators his son Dereck was a “killer” and would shoot it out with law enforcement if found. Flint Harrison reported his son was hiding in the area near Half Moon Lake.
According to the documents, Flint Harrison alluded to detectives that he had information regarding a murder and other crimes several times during the interview, but wanted to speak to an attorney before releasing more details.
Later on May 14, Dereck Harrison was taken into custody without incident.
On May 17 at approximately 8:08 a.m., Diamondville Police received an email from the Sublette Sheriff’s Department reported they had received information that a UTA work vehicle went through the drive thru of the Arctic Circle in Diamondville. The two females who made the report were contacted and shown pictures of the Harrisons and Ricks. While they did not recognize Ricks, both identified the Harrisons as occupants in the vehicle.
Diamondville Police began conducting searches of local surveillance cameras and observed a vehicle similar to the UTA truck passing by the Maverik Country Store in Kemmerer on May 12. The video showed two unidentifiable persons inside the vehicle.
On May 17, investigators from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Diamondville Police Department turned off on a side road on Highway 412 when they noticed a blue object near a creek bank under sage brush. The body was later identified as Ricks. Investigators found a wallet which contained Ricks’ driver’s license. Documents said that due to the extensive damage to the facial area, it was impossible to determine eye color, nose or cheek features.
Investigators noticed several footprints in the mud-covered creek bottom. Below Ricks’ body, several blood-stained areas were observed. Documents add they located a utility-type knife from under Ricks’ left foot and a specific but unnamed object which was consistent with the item that caused the massive injuries to Ricks’ facial area.
Approximately 60 yards from the body, detectives discovered areas that had been spray painted green. After Sublette County Sheriff’s investigators located the missing truck, they reported the UTA stickers had been painted over with green spray paint.
Search warrants were also served at the Harrison’s homes in Pinedale. Among items seized included impact weapons, cutting weapons, clothing and material which had stains consistent to blood stains and two black hoodies. The females who identified the Harrison’s as the ones at Arctic Circle noted they were wearing black hoodies.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Lincoln County Attorney Spencer Allred said he fully intends to bring the Harrisons to Wyoming to face these charges once the legal issues in Utah are worked out. In interviews at the press conference, Ricks’ family attorney Richard Massey said the only wish of the family is that whoever is responsible should never see the light of day again.