Off the Hook No More: Victim’s Phone Records Lead the Police to the Killer

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The slaying of a 14-year-old teenager from Texas came to a swift close after authorities were able to pin down the killer through her mobile phone – specifically when they checked her phone records. However, it had a bittersweet ending when the suspect shot himself to evade arrest and face charges.

Tristan Dilley was a freshman at Silsbee High School and a member of the cheer leading squad. She was well loved by her peers. Her sudden, grisly demise came as a shock to people closest her, especially upon learning that she was in a relationship with an older teen.

Her rumored boyfriend was known only as ‘Adam’ – a 16-year-old boy Tristan’s family had never met. Further police investigations revealed that Adam was actually Paul Audrey Adams, a 19-year-old nursing student in college.


According to Jasper County Sheriff Mitch Newman, phone records showed that the teenagers were planning to see each other at Dilley’s home in Buna, after her family went out shopping and ran some errands.


Dilley was left home alone, saying that she was tired from staying over her friend’s before.

Eventually, the family came home. Her mom checked on her but saw that the lights were out in her room and assumed that her daughter was just sleeping. Dilley’s brother was then sent back upstairs to wake her up for dinner, and discovered her dead body lying face down on the bed.

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Dilley had two gunshot wounds on her head that instantly killed her.


Based on investigations, there was no sign of forced entry or struggle in the house, leading police authorities to conclude that Dilley knew her killer. Her time of death was sometime after 3:30 p.m., and was found around 7 p.m.

After police confirmed Adams’ relationship with Dilley, they started pinging his mobile phone. They were able to get a general location of the phone and his address.


Upon arrival at Adams’ home on Monday morning, his mother said he hadn’t come back from meeting a girl in Beaumont.

The police search for Adams continued and they found him too late. He shot himself in the head while talking to a Texas Ranger on the phone. Adams called up his mother to narrate his side of the story, saying that an intruder shot Dilley. He ran out of the house because he didn’t know what to do.


At the scene of Adams’ grisly passing, police found a suicide note reiterating his previous statement to the Ranger and claiming innocence of the crime. However authorities believe otherwise.

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According to Jasper County Sheriff’s Lt. Ryan Cunningham, Adams knew the police were coming after him, but not as fast they did. Despite the conclusion, the authorities are still puzzled on how the two met, and what transpired between them which led him to ending her life.

Lt. Cunningham was certain that the crime was premeditated – considering Adams had purchased an ax, a machete, a hatchet, several knives, 32 rations, cases of water, burlap sacks, dumbbells, duct tape and several sets of handcuffs.

“There are so many questions we can’t answer. We will never know what was going on in his mind and what was said between them,” Cunningham said.

Last Tuesday, Dilley’s school remembered her on what would’ve been her 15th birthday. Aside from wearing purple tops and shirts, the school community released purple balloons on the football field.


A truly tragic tale – our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this terrible incident.

What can you say about the swift closure on the Tristan Dilley case using her phone records? Do you think it helped that their police was efficient in handling such cases? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 




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