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Man Allegedly Murdered Woman, Drove Around with Body in Trunk for a Day, Then Dumped Remains in Forest: Deputies

Dagan Blake Boring

Dagan Blake Boring

A man confessed to murdering a missing woman, according to deputies in Walton County, Florida.

Dagan Blake Boring, 24, allegedly admitted to killing Tara Deaton, 37, saying he beat her, blacked out, and woke up to realize he strangled her. Authorities suggested the two of them were in a relationship at the time of the homicide.

“This is not the ending we hoped for,” Sheriff Michael Adkinson said of finding Deaton dead. “But with a successful prosecution we hope to bring some closure to Tara’s loved ones.”

Going in roughly chronological order, deputies said in an arrest report that Boring and Deaton had consistent communication between the two of them, based on phone records, but that ended on May 22. The defendant’s phone was also allegedly connected to her car via Bluetooth for multiple days up to around this point.

But on May 23, a deputy tried to stop a 2-door Lexus with an expired temporary tag. It was Deaton’s. The driver fled and was involved in a hit-and-run on County Road 30a, authorities said without naming the individual. Deputies said they found the vehicle in a secluded wooded area about two miles from the hit-and-run location.

“The vehicle had significant damage to the passenger side and appeared to be inoperable,” deputies said.

They towed it to the sheriff’s impound lot.

“During the search of the vehicle an abundance of blood was in the trunk,” they said.

They tested the evidence. It was human blood. Testing with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement revealed it was the same DNA profile as that on ChapStick found in a purse containing Deaton’s things.

Deputies said Deaton was reported missing from Kentucky two weeks after the hit-and-run. Friends and family had not heard from her since May 23.

“Investigators attempted to locate Deaton and interviewed numerous family and friends,” deputies said. “After an exhaustive search, investigators were led to Boring, who is believed to have been in a relationship with Deaton at the time of her disappearance.”

Investigators found Boring in a convenience store on July 14 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, according to the arrest report. He allegedly agreed to speak to them.

“The defendant admitted post Miranda that he and the victim were in a physical altercation in Walton County, off of Sugar Drive, where he beat Tara with his fists,” deputies said. “He loaded Tara in her car and started driving when a second altercation occurred. The defendant stated he blacked out, but when he came to, he believed that he strangled her and she was deceased.”

Leaving Deaton’s body in the vehicle, he got his injured hand treated at a hospital, he allegedly said. According to deputies, the suspect said he hurt himself by punching Deaton in the mouth and cutting his hand on her tooth.

She had sustained a swollen left eye and laceration to her lip, he allegedly said.

He drove around with her in the trunk for approximately one day, and he decided to dispose of her body in Point Washington State Forest, he said in the arrest report.

Boring allegedly led investigators to the general area where he placed the body. He identified a black sleeping bag with green plaid as the one he used to put Deaton in before he dumped her body, deputies said. Authorities said they found a human skull and other bones.

“The remains were consistent with that of the victim,” deputies said.

Boring remains at the Walton County Jail without bond. He was appointed a public defender.

[Booking photo via Walton County Jail]

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