Overview of Blake Chappell
Blake Tyler Chappell was a one-of-a-kind teenager having the best night of his life. Who cut his joy short?
He was the kind of person who was friends with everyone, and one that everyone loved to be around. He was hilarious with an infectious laugh, easygoing, was always willing to help the people he cared about, and he always saw the best in people.
Blake loved racing his dirt bike around on trails near his home, drawing, and playing Guitar Hero. Blake absolutely adored music of all kinds and enjoyed skateboarding. Blake was interested in the idea of becoming a TV anchor someday but was more passionate about becoming a lawyer someday, according to his mother. Blake loved being the center of attention, rapping, steak and seafood, and especially beef jerky. According to his mother, Blake was a budding entrepreneur who would buy energy drinks and sell them to his friends at school for a slightly marked-up price.
On the evening of October 15, 2011, Blake went with his girlfriend, Rion, to the East Coweta High School homecoming dance.
Blake would later tell his mother during a phone call that this night was the best night of his life, and that he had so much fun dancing and spending time with his friends.
Sometime around 10:30 pm, Rion's mother, Shannon, picked the couple up from the dance and brought them back to her home, where they watched a movie and hung out. At around 11:30 pm, Shannon drove Blake to his friend Austin's house, where he had plans to spend the night.
Sometime between 2:00 am and 3:00 am on October 16, 2011, Blake leaves Austin's house on foot to make the roughly 3-mile walk back to Rion's house. Austin later told police that he was wearing black pants, a white t-shirt, and one of his jackets when he left. Blake arrived at Rion's house sometime around 4:30 am, and reportedly snuck into the bedroom window, knowing he wasn't supposed to be back at her home. The couple spends some time hanging out in Rion's room before they're interrupted by her grandmother, who catches Blake in the room.
After quickly sneaking out of the house again, it's around 5:00 am by the time Blake starts the trek back to Austin's house. As he walks, he sends several text messages to Rion and her mother, apologizing for being at their home so late without their permission.
At approximately 5:30 am, Blake sent a text to Rion, explaining that he had been stopped by a police officer who had asked where he was going and had asked for his ID. Shortly after, Blake continued his walk, sending his final text message within a few minutes, complaining about the cold weather.
Later that morning, Rion and her mother, as well as Austin, begin worrying about Blake when they learn that he hadn't made it back to Austin's house. From here, the desperate search for Blake begins.
Blake is reported missing by his mother shortly after learning that her son is nowhere to be found.
Nearly two months later, on December 19, 2011. Passer-bys alert Newnan police that they had found remains in a local creek, near the bridge at Summergrove Parkway in Newnan, GA.
The remains, which would later be identified as Blake, were found wearing only an undershirt and underwear and had suffered a gunshot wound to the head. Investigators were never able to find any other articles of clothing, including the jacket or hoodie, pants, or shoes that Blake was wearing when he left Rion's house. They were also never able to find his cell phone, wallet, ID, or other personal belongings.
Shortly after Blake's remains were discovered, the Newnan Police Department offered a $20,000 reward, the largest that the city has ever offered. Additionally, in September of 2021, the police department launched an 'Unsolved Murders' page on their website, with hopes of spreading awareness for Blake's murder along with others. Investigators continue following up on every lead they receive in Blake's case, having already cleared three persons of interest. Although the three former persons of interest have not been named publicly, police have been able to successfully clear two of them, and are unable to place the third individual in the area at the estimated time of Blake's death.
If you have any information regarding the 2011 murder of Blake Chappell, please contact CrimeStoppers of Greater Atlanta at (404) 577-TIPS (8477) or the Newnan Police Department's Tip Line at (770) 254-2350, or send your tip in an email to [email protected].
There is currently a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for Blake's death.