In addition to the links above, here’s another article
that provides in-depth information on this strange case.
Also, John Lordan
and Rachel Shannon
each provided excellent coverage on their respective true crime channels.
Summary (feel free to skip, if you already know the story)
Blake Tyler Chappell, from Senoia, GA, disappeared in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 16, 2011. The day before, he had gone to a homecoming party at with his girlfriend Rion. After the party, Rion’s mother, Shannon, dropped Blake off at his friend Austin’s house where Blake had planned to spend the night.
But around 2-3 a.m. that night, Blake told Austin that he wanted to see Rion again. So Blake decided to walk the 3 miles from Austin’s house in Highwoods Parkway to Rion’s house in Avondale Circle
and arrived around 4:30 a.m.
However, Rion’s family caught him in her room, so Blake left around 5 a.m., presumably to walk back to Austin’s house. He was never seen again.
Around 5:30 a.m., a text from Blake’s phone said that Blake was being “pulled over” by a cop, who asked him for ID and then let him go. Curiously, police say they have no record of any officer stopping anyone at that time.
Two months later, on December 19, Blake’s body was found “in a small creek that runs alongside the driving range at SummerGrove Golf Club,” which I assume is White Oak Creek. He had died from a “gunshot to the head,” but it was unknown how long he’d been at the creek.
To complicate matters, Blake and his mom had just moved to Senoia in order to escape a violent situation in Jonesboro, GA, where they had been living. Earlier that same year, Blake had a different girlfriend who ran away from her stepdad and sought refuge with Blake. The stepdad went looking for Blake with a gun and, when he found Blake, proceeded to throw him to the ground and repeatedly kick him in the face. The stepdad then charged Blake with interfering with custody, since the girlfriend at age 16 was technically still a minor, so Blake
was the one who was arrested, spent two weeks in jail, and had to pay bond. In fact, Blake was due back in court on October 24, eight days after his disappearance.
I don't think the stepdad is responsible for Blake's disappearance, though. The stepdad clearly had motive (his stepdaughter) and means (a gun), but I don't think he had opportunity. Blake’s actions that night were spontaneous. No one could’ve predicted that Blake would be out in the middle of the night. On top of that, Jonesboro is about 46 minutes away from Summer Grove
. I really doubt the stepdad, or someone working for him, drove all that way to harm Blake on the off-chance he might be alone.
I also don’t think Rion’s family was involved. Sure, they could’ve been angered by Blake sneaking into their teen daughter’s room in the middle of the night. But by all accounts, Rion’s family were the first to look for him, and continued to be active in subsequent searches. And to this day, Rion’s mom Shannon tearfully regrets letting Blake leave their house that morning.
And I don't think Austin was involved, even though there are some issues with his story. Austin says he gave Blake a jacket that night, but Rion says Blake came into her room wearing an Aeropostale hoodie. A bag that Blake left at Austin’s house that night mysteriously disappeared when Austin's family was moving. However, the location of Blake’s body suggests that he never made it back to Austin’s. Maybe Austin misremembered giving him the jacket, or maybe Blake decided last-minute to leave it behind, and Austin simply didn’t notice. The jacket and the bag could’ve then been lost in the move. And we should note that Austin was the first to flag down a police car to ask for help in the search for Blake.
That leaves the “cop.”
Maybe a cop stopped Blake, something happened that led to Blake’s death, and this led to a police cover-up. This would explain why there was no record of a cop stopping anyone that night. But it wouldn’t explain why the police began to look for Blake that same day—and didn’t stop until they found him two months later. If LE was involved, they could’ve just dismissed Blake as a runaway and not searched at all, as happens in so many other cases.
So I think the person who stopped Blake was someone posing as a police officer. Maybe this person liked to look for potential victims late at night, and Blake just happened to be there. It's possible that things happened as Blake described, that the "cop" stopped him, asked him for ID, then let him go—only for him to circle back and offer a ride after Blake texted. Or the "cop" could've sent the text as a cover after harming him.
Sexual assault may have been the motive, as Blake's body was found clothed in just a T-shirt and boxers. And I forget the name, but wasn't there a sexual predator who had a girlfriend/wife, but would leave the house late at night, say he was going to work, but was really stalking random victims? I feel like this case is consistent with a random attack by a sexual predator.