Rhiannon VanTassell's mom recently shared a Facebook plea in which she asked her Colorado Springs-based daughter to return home rather than remain on the run with Roy Hanthorn, a fugitive she'd allegedly chosen over her own child.
A subsequent post suggested a happy ending might be in the offing. But unfortunately, things didn't work out that way. Yesterday, Hanthorn allegedly ended a police chase in Tulsa, Oklahoma by killing VanTassell and then himself. See photos, video and details below.
There are plenty of self-portraits on VanTassell's Facebook page, including one featuring a smile:
For the most part, though, VanTassell, nicknamed RaeRae, favored grim-faced expressions like this one.... ...even when posing with a grinning Hanthorn in what remains her profile pic: The relationship was clearly of concern to VanTassell's mother, who posted the following message on February 17:
Hi this is Rhiannon's (RaeRae) mom, I got on her Facebook hoping, maybe u can help us out, her family. She is on the run, if we can locate her by this week, she won't be in trouble, the person she went with IS in trouble, that is why she is on the run, to be with him! Choosing him over her daughter who wants to see her and had a very special valentine gift for her. Her daughter threw her pics away of her and mom. She is so very hurt. We want to see her do good and get off papers. But now she might go back to prison. If your a friend and want to see her get thru this tell her to call her family and maybe being her friend you will help her get back.
Two days later, VanTassell's mom posted again, this time with what appeared to be better news:
Update: This is Rhiannons mom again, she saw her facebook and called me really mad that I wrote all that, so after a few phonecalls from her being upset, she finally calmed down and her and her boyfriend are going to get a hold of their po and see what they can do to get help and get back on track. I wish them both luck and hope they do it this time and get all this behind them. Thank you all for all the words you gave her, please be there for her when she goes back again and maybe we can get her thru all of this finally.
That wasn't to be the case. By the end of March, both Hanthorn and VanTassell were listed among the most wanted fugitives in Colorado Springs.
Continue for more about the deaths of Roy Hanthorn and Rhiannon VanTassell, including additional photos and a video. On March 31, Fox21 in Colorado Springs published a "fugitive finder" item spotlighting what are described as the Pikes Peak area's most wanted individuals. Among the six photos is this mug shot of Hanthorn:
The listing under his name reads: "ROY HANTHORN is a White Male, 36 years old, 5'8" tall, and 212 lbs., with brown shaved hair and hazel eyes. HANTHORN is wanted for Agg. Motor Veh. Theft x2, Possession Sched. II x3, Theft."
Also featured is a mug shot of VanTassell....
Her listing reads: "RHIANNON VANTASSELL is a White Male, 32 years old, 5'6" tall, and 175 lbs., with blonde hair and blue eyes. VANTASSELL is wanted for 2nd Degree Burglary."
The following day, Hanthorn and VanTassell were found far from home, in Tulsa. But they didn't surrender to authorities.
Yesterday afternoon, a reporter for Fox23 in Tulsa was with members of the Northern Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force for another story when they stopped Hanthorn and VanTassell on a Colorado warrant. But rather than go quietly, the pair jumped into a vehicle and sped away.
Authorities followed, with the Fox 23 journalist along for the ride, as the pursuit went from north Tulsa into downtown, at which point Hanthorn and VanTassell abandoned their first ride and carjacked another one.
The cops were soon on the trail of the second car, which eventually crashed.
Shortly thereafter, Hanthorn is said to have killed VanTassell before turning the gun on himself. He died a short time later at an area hospital.
Our condolences to VanTassell's mom and her other friends, family and loved ones. Here's a look at Fox23's coverage.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa February 12: "Cimmeron Johns double-murder/suicide: Details of abuse, SWAT team raid, tragedy."