Roommates recall Lawrence homicide suspect’s ominous silence followed by sudden disappearance

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Police have put out an arrest warrant for a suspect they say killed a Lawrence woman this weekend. Fox 4 is not naming the suspect because she has not yet been formally charged, but friends say she was very quiet this past weekend, and then disappeared from her home.

News spread quickly through a Lawrence group home that one of its residents has a warrant out for first degree murder.

"They didn't expect this," said Vicki Condra-Williams.

Condra-Williams gives group counseling sessions in the home. She said the suspect lived there and suffered from schizophrenia.

"My first reaction was, was she on her medicine?" Condra-Williams said.

Ones close to the suspect say she had stopped taking her medication. This weekend a roommate of the suspect noticed she was very quiet. When he tried to spark conversation, he said the suspect said she was leaving for a walk.

That was the last time he saw her and soon after, they started hearing sirens. Police say evidence shows the suspect killed 56-year-old Christine Kaplan in her home. Police believe the suspect had stayed with her before, a giving nature that Kaplan was known for in the community.

"Because she was someone that took in people who were homeless and helped people out, that were in the community and didn't have another resource. I thought maybe something had happened," Condra-Williams said.

The suspect's roommates say she was very mentally ill, but had been had been getting help. They tell us they're hoping this turns out to be some sort of mix up, because they believe the woman they lived with was no murderer.

"Very religious. Very church driven, to go to church. She was very polite. Pretty good person," Condra-Williams said.

People who know the suspect say they never heard her talking about the victim. She's being held at the Shawnee County jail on a previous charge.

Earlier report: