Tipster describes pain of turning in teenage murder suspects she knew as good kids

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The murder of 43-year-old Tanya Chamberlain has shocked the community in Lee's Summit, but what is even more surprising is that two eighth grade students are accused of the killing.

When police released surveillance video of the suspects, it was calls to Crimestoppers that led police to the boys. FOX 4’s Shannon O’Brien spoke with one of the tipsters who immediately recognized one of the accused teenagers. For safety reasons, the woman asked FOX 4 to conceal her identity.

"Very much a kick in the gut. They are very, very young and they are good kids. I never would have imagined something like this would happen, it's very, very sad," the tipster said.

The good kids she knows, a Boy Scout, a football player, eighth graders at Bernard Campbell Middle School who are only 13 and 14 years old.

On November 1, police say Chamberlain was vacuuming her car at the Quick Clean Car Wash on Langsford Road. Just before 2 a.m., police say surveillance video from the car wash shows the boys walk up and get into Chamberlain's car.

About 20 minutes later, police say an officer tried to pull over a suspected drunk driver, and the boys bailed and ran. Inside the car, police found Chamberlain stabbed to death and the murder weapon in the back seat.

"I cried for days, I did. It's still, it's very, very hard to deal with,” the woman told FOX 4.

It’s been especially hard to deal with for this woman who called police and turned them in. She describes one of the suspects is like a son to her.

"Very overwhelming, heartbreaking but you have to do the right thing, you have to,” she said.

A certification hearing will be held in the next few months to determine if the boys will be tried as adults.

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