CHICKASHA, Okla. (KFOR) – The parents of a four-year-old girl, who was murdered alongside her 67-year-old grandfather in Chickasha, spoke out Thursday about the double-homicide.
Both parents, Tasha Yates and Taranzo Pye, said they’re trying to stay strong after the lives of two individuals beyond near and dear to them were taken away by another family member.
“Tell your kids you love them, do everything with them that you possibly can,” Pye said. “Because you never know when they might be taken away from you.”
The stabbing left Pye and Yates’s daughter, four-year-old Kaeos, and Taranzo’s dad, 67-year-old Leon Pye, dead. Two others – Taranzo’s mother and the suspect, 42-year-old Lawrence Anderson – were wounded. Both are recovering in the hospital.
“For me right now, it’s just like random bursts of sorrow, complete sadness that overtakes you,” Yates said. “My little soul is broken, my baby.”
Yates and Pye said they dropped Kaeos off at Taranzo’s parents house to run errands. Later that night, Investigators with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Anderson, Taranzo’s cousin, attacked the family with a knife.
“He ruined everything,” Pye said. “He ruined my whole life.”
Anderson was released from prison in mid-January on a commuted sentence from the summer of 2020. He was being held on multiple drug charges at the time, including selling drugs near a Chickasha elementary school. Investigators said they are still trying to find out why and what all took place inside the home.
They said it all started with a 9-1-1 call, but the caller hung up. Police traced the call and when they arrived on scene, they heard cries for help. They forced their way inside the front door.
“Leon and his four-year-old granddaughter were severely wounded,” said Brook Arbeitman with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Both were pronounced dead on the scene.
“I’m crushed,” Pye said.
Taranzo’s mother Delci was injured during the incident. Pye said she is still recovering in the hospital.
“She’s hanging in there,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kaeos’ parents said they are devastated by her loss.
“She was bright, so pretty, active, so sweet,” Pye said.
“So sassy and so smart and I feel like she was perfect,” Yates said.
At the same time, they are trying to cope with the death of Taranzo’s father, Leon.
“He’s a good, Godly guy,” Pye said. “He never hurt no one; he was so sweet to everybody.”
Both said they are trying to stay strong together as they battle through a difficult time.
“I do know my dad and my daughter are walking in the gates of Heaven together,” Pye said. “I can see my dad, he’s picking her up, saying, ‘Come on Kaeos. Come on with papa; it’s going to be OK.’”
Anderson will be booked into the Grady County Jail once he is released from the hospital.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation officials said they were called to assist with another homicide investigation on the same street where Kaeos and Leon were killed. It is unclear right now if Anderson was also involved in that crime.
A Facebook fundraiser was set up for the family at https://www.facebook.com/donate/122023463154627/.