CHICKASHA, Okla. (KFOR) – February 2021.
What started with a hang-up call to 911 would soon turn into a gruesome scene spanning two homes along a quiet Chickasha street.
Three people were dead, and one clinging to life – fooling her attacker into thinking she was dead, too.
The man investigators say is at the center of it all was already a convicted felon who was released from prison early.
“She was super resilient, very kind,” Haylee Blankenship said. “She wore her heart on her sleeve.”
Her mother, Andrea Blankenship was just 41 years old when a stranger just weeks out of prison forced his way into her Chickasha home, murdered her, and carved her heart from her chest.
Since that cold February day earlier this year, Haylee exists day by day and sometimes hour by hour. She loses track of time.
“I feel like I’ve dissociated myself from reality a lot, and I’ve had to do that in order to survive every day to say the least,” she said.
Haylee was a freshman at Oklahoma State University and had talked to her mother on the phone that day but never fathomed that simple conversation would be their last.
“I texted her every day until about three days until her body was found,” she said. “My aunt drove up to Stillwater and came to my dorm…she told me while I was hanging out with my friends.”
Investigators say after Lawrence Anderson removed Andrea’s heart, he took it to his Uncle Leon Pye’s house nearby.
There, court documents detail how he cooked Andrea’s heart and tried to make his elderly aunt and uncle eat it before attacking them and their 4-year-old granddaughter, Kaeos.
Kaeos had been visiting for the day. Neither she nor her grandfather survived the attack.
“I was 16 years old,” Delsie Pye recalled. “He drove my momma’s cotton field truck. That’s how we met in the cotton field, and we’ve been together ever since.”
Leon and Delsie were married 50 years.
“This year would have been the 51st. He was gone, but my 50th anniversary our kids and grandkids they surprised us for our anniversary,” she said.
It was one of the last times they were all together. Delsie has a lot of pictures of that day, but those, too, were taken.
“We got it on our telephone, but we can’t get our telephones,” she said. “They haven’t given our phones back yet.”
Investigators took the phones and the digital photos as evidence.
Delsie’s nephew, Lawrence Anderson, was a violent offender who had been in prison multiple times but was released early in January 2021 when Governor Kevin Stitt approved the commutation of hundreds of Oklahoma prisoners.
He was out of prison for less than three weeks when investigators say he went on a killing spree first targeting Andrea Blankenship and then his own family members.
“He came over – Lawrence. Did he just walk in? Did he knock on the door?” asked KFOR’s Joleen Chaney.
“Asked for some water,” Delsie said.
“He came over and asked for some water. And how did it escalate from that?” asked Chaney.
“He just went crazy,” Delsie replied. “He attacked my husband, and then he attacked me. He thought I was dead. God was with me.”
Delsie survived, but is now blind in her left eye and deaf in her left ear from the repeated stab wounds to her head.
“I saw everything he did to himself. I saw everything he did to my house,” she said. “Can’t nobody tell me he wasn’t in his right mind. He was, because if he wouldn’t have been he would have killed himself.
“Horrible. It’s like a movie. It’s not real, but it’s real,” Taranzo Pye said.
Taranzo Pye and Tasha Yates are Kaeos’s parents.
“She was full of life. She was everything. She’d make you smile,” Taranzo said.
“If that hadn’t happened, then our family would still be here,” Tasha said.
Delsie still lives in the same home that was once a haven for not only the couple who has weathered so many of life’s storms together, but to anyone who stepped inside its warmth. But nothing is the same.
“People look at you funny. I even had to change churches. I might have to leave Chickasha,” Delsie said.
“I don’t even have any words,” Taranzo said. “I just wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this right here, because it is not good.”
“I don’t know whatever god put in front of us, because I walk by faith not by sight,” Delsie said.
Haylee Blankenship is walking that same journey.
“Everything is hard,” she said. “Very, very heavy trauma.”
Two families who are suffering the same tragedy and wondering why this man was allowed to walk away from 20-year prison sentence 17 years early – a critical mistake that ended in murder.