Tristan Dilley Murder: What Happened to Paul Audrey Adams?

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‘Murder Under the Friday Night Lights: A Homecoming Murder’ explores the case of Tristan Dilley, a 14-year-old high school freshman who was not only an athlete but also an active member of the cheerleading squad. She enjoyed the love and appreciation of friends, teachers, and her parents. However, when she was discovered shot to death in her own home, it baffled everyone, given that she seemed to have no apparent enemies. As the police initiated their investigation, they uncovered that Tristan was in a relationship with 19-year-old Paul Audrey Adams, raising suspicions of his potential involvement in her death.

How Did Tristan Dilley Die?

Born on October 3, 2002, Tristan Dilley was a freshman at Silsbee High School in Texas. She resided with her parents and a younger brother in Buna, Texas. Described as an affectionate and positive person, Tristan was caring and considered a good daughter. On September 30, 2017, Tristan attended a school dance and spent the night at a friend’s house for a sleepover. The following day, on October 1, 2017, her younger brother discovered her lifeless body in her bedroom on the second floor of their home. It was evident that she had been shot and had succumbed to her injuries.

Image Credit: Christopher Dilley/Facebook

Tristan Dilley was found fully clothed on top of her bed. Authorities were alerted, and upon investigation, they determined that the cause of her death was two gunshot wounds to her head, fired from a .22 caliber magnum revolver. The position of her body indicated that she was not facing the assailant when the shots were fired. Tristan was just two days away from celebrating her 15th birthday when this incident occurred.

Who Killed Tristan Dilley?

Given the condition of the room and the house, the police ruled out a break-in, as there were no signs of struggle. The authorities concluded that the person responsible for shooting Tristan Dilley was likely someone known to her. In their investigation, the police spoke with Tristan’s family to gather more information about her. It was revealed that she had been dating a 16-year-old boy named Adam, as per what Tristan had communicated to her family. However, upon further inquiry, the police discovered that Adam was 19 years old, and his full name was Paul Audrey Adams. He was enrolled as a nursing student at Lamar State College.

Paul Audrey Adams became a person of interest to the police, prompting them to scrutinize Tristan’s phone and Facebook activities. Their investigation revealed that both teenagers had been deceptive with their parents, frequently arranging visits to Paul’s house when his mother was absent. Utilizing phone tracking, the police determined Paul’s address and discovered that he resided with his mother in Vidor, Texas. At 1:30 a.m., the police arrived at his house, but no one was present. They returned the next day at 10:30 a.m. and were able to speak with Paul’s mother.

During a search of Paul’s room, the police discovered a spent .22-caliber magazine casing on the floor, raising suspicions that it might have been used in Tristan’s murder. While still at the house, Paul called his mother, and the police took the phone from her, urging him to provide a statement. However, Paul refused and claimed that he was at Tristan’s house on the day of the incident, providing a conflicting account of the events.

Paul narrated a version of events, stating that while he was at Tristan’s house, an intruder—a white male with a beard—had broken in. According to Paul, he got scared and hid in the shower. During this time, he claimed to hear Tristan screaming, followed by two gunshot sounds and the sound of the intruder fleeing. Upon coming out of the shower, he allegedly found Tristan dead and decided to run away out of fear. However, the police identified numerous inconsistencies in Paul’s story, leading them to believe that he was not being truthful in his account of the events.

Paul Audrey Adams Took His Own Life

Image Credit: Paul Adams/Facebook

The police continued their search for Paul Audrey Adams and managed to locate him near a canal east of Vidor, Texas on the morning of October 2. He was found in a tent alongside his white ’94 Toyota. As the police were about 150 yards away from approaching him, they observed that he had a gun in his hand. Before they could intervene, Paul shot himself in the head, resulting in immediate and fatal injury. At the site of his suicide, the police discovered a suicide note.

In the 8-page suicide note, which he had written on index cards, Paul Audrey Adams reiterated the story he had told the police on the phone. He mentioned the presence of an intruder and expressed the belief that no one would believe him regardless of what he said. Concluding that this was the only option he believed he had left, he chose to take his own life.

The police discovered that Paul Audrey Adams had purchased various items such as knives, dumbbells, duct tape, an ax, a machete, a hatchet, and a burlap sack just a few days before Tristan Dilley’s murder. Additionally, he had downloaded apps on his phone to track police dispatch after the murder. These findings strongly suggested that Paul had been planning the murder for an extended period. The police suspected and theorized that he was aware of the wrongdoing in being involved with a 14-year-old girl and had chosen his form of punishment.

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