Father of murdered teen speaks out - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Father of murdered teen speaks out

Tara Willenborg, 17, was found dead early Saturday morning inside her Clarksville apartment. Tara Willenborg, 17, was found dead early Saturday morning inside her Clarksville apartment.
Richard Hooten, 49, is expected to face murder and other charges in the case. Richard Hooten, 49, is expected to face murder and other charges in the case.

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – New information is emerging about a gruesome weekend murder of a 17-year-old girl in Clarksville.

Police said Tara Willenborg was discovered dead inside her apartment by her boyfriend early Saturday morning.

A suspect was arrested a short time later on unrelated charges.

"It scares me because I just moved here," a neighbor said.

Neighbors are on edge after hearing about what happened inside unit #30 at the Cambridge Square Apartments.

"We did find a juvenile victim," said Darrell Rayborn with the Clarksville Police Department.

Sunday the Clark County Coroner said she died of asphyxia.

Willenborg's father said his daughter had just moved into the apartment in January with her fiancé. Next Sunday she would have celebrated her 18th birthday.

Her father said Tara Willenborg ran track in high school and was a vegetarian who loved animals and making cupcakes.

As she planned her life, her father says she considered a career designing cupcakes.

All of that, police said,, was cut short by Richard Hooten, 49. Authorities said he sexually assaulted her and killed her.

"They just had an acquaintance. I think they had just met recently," Rayborn said.

Hooten was arrested a short distance from the apartment on an unrelated charge.

"Officers found him walking. He sort of fit the description and at that time they asked for his identity and ran a background check and noticed he had outstanding warrants," Rayborn said.

Hooten is on the sex offender registry. The Prosecutor's office said Hooten had failed to update his information for the sex offender registry, which resulted in that outstanding warrant.

Hooten has a violent criminal history including rape, sexual battery and sodomy charges in both Indiana and Georgia dating all the way back to 1993.

Services for Tara Willenborg have been set. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4 pm. to 8 p.m. at Chapman Funeral Home, located at 431 W Harrison Avenue in Clarksville.

Wednesday's visitation will take place Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Luke's United Church of Christ, located at 329 Walnut Street in Jeffersonville.

More information is expected in this case Monday, as Hooten appears in court.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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