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Police apprehend person of Interest in double homicide

Photo Courtesy of the Mount Vernon News

UPDATE 10/12/2015 1:00PM - Travis Bonham has confessed to shooting his mother, Sandra Stelk, and his girlfriend, Jaime Barber with a pistol on September 29 while high on bath salts.

Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville announced last week Bonham is charged with 2 counts of murder, a 3rd degree felony count of theft of a firearm, a 3rd degree felony charge of having a weapon under disability.

Bonham has prior felony domestic violence convictions that prohibit him from possessing a firearm.

He was also charged with a third degree tampering with evidence felony for destroying a cell phone which law enforcement had been pinging to find Bonham’s location.

Common Pleas Judge John Thatcher set 32-year-old Travis Bonham’s bond at $1 million dollars on Friday.

Bonham remains in the Knox County jail. The case will now go before the Knox County Grand Jury.McConville says if Bonham is convicted of all charges and sentenced consecutively, he faces 45 years to life in prison.

UPDATE 10/5/2015 8:20PM - The Knox County Grand Jury charged 32-year-old Travis Bonham with one count of Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle yesterday.

Bonham’s mother Sandra Stelk and girlfriend Jaime Barber were found murdered in Stelk’s home on September 30. Autopsies have determined both victims died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Police discovered Stelk’s 2011 black Dodge Charger was missing. Video surveillance shows Bonham driving the car that night. Police recovered the vehicle later in Columbus.

Knox County Common Pleas Court will likely hold a bond hearing later this week. Both deaths remain under investigation.

UPDATE 10/4/2015 7:10PM - Mount Vernon Police apprehended person of interest Travis Bonham around 3pm Sunday afternoon on State Route 62 in Licking County.

MVPD officer D. McElroy spotted a man matching Bonham’s description in a vehicle on South Main Street. The man pulled up the hood of his sweatshirt and tried to avoid McElroy as they passed. McElroy followed the vehicle south on State Route 661 until more officers could respond.

Adult Parole Authority Officer William Baer was on the phone with Bonham trying to arrange for surrender just before the arrest.

Bonham was arrested without incident, along with Ashli Price of Mount Vernon, who was driving the vehicle.

UPDATE 10/3/2015 4:40PM - The search for Travis Bonham continues, along with the double homicide investigation. Police have located the red Ford Mustang on Castine Way in Reynoldsburg. The license plates were Ohio, not Michigan as previously thought.

Police have arrested 5 people on outstanding warrants while searching for Bonham, including 32 year old Chad Temple of Columbus. Officers believe Temple was involved in abandoning the 2011 Dodge Charger registered to victim Sandra Stelk's husband.

UPDATE 10/1/2015 at 12:50PM - Police located the 2011 black Dodge Charger abandoned on the east side of Columbus. Bonham may be traveling in a red Ford Mustang, possibly with Michigan license plates.

9/30/2015 - 31-year-old Person of Interest Travis Bonham is still at large after an hour standoff and search of an apartment on Wooster Road last night turned out to be a dead end.

The Mount Vernon News reports Knox County Sheriff David Shaffer identified 50-year-old Sandra Stelk and 23-year-old Jaime Barber as victims in the double homicide yesterday morning on Coshocton Road. Cause of death has not yet been released.

Bonham is reportedly Stelk’s son and Barber’s boyfriend, and is driving a black 2011 Dodge Charger registered to Stelk’s husband. Bonham is described as a white male, heavily tattooed, average build and medium height.

Shaffer advises citizens not to approach Bonham if they see him, but anyone with information on his whereabouts should immediately call 911 to report a location.

Tune in to 90.9FM WNZR on the radio or streaming at for updates.

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