His loved ones filed a missing person report to the Port Orchard Police Department on Oct. 20. After further review, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office began leading the investigation.
On Friday, 19-year-old Kannon Stephens and 20-year-old Karlen Talent were both charged with first-degree murder. Bail for each suspect was set at $1 million.
Dozens of Sero’s family and friends showed up to the Kitsap County Courthouse for Friday’s virtual arraignment. They were full of emotion after learning the brutal details surrounding his disappearance and death.
Investigators said Stephens turned himself into the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Thursday evening with an attorney, as he confessed to killing Sero. Detectives also found, questioned, and arrested Talent Thursday night at a store in Port Orchard.
Kitsap County investigators said Sero connected with Stephens on Snapchat, agreeing to sell Stephens marijuana. They decided to meet outside of the Kitsap Community Resources building in Port Orchard earlier in the week. Surveillance cameras outside of the building captured their meeting.
Investigators said the surveillance video shows Sero getting into the front passenger seat of a silver car and was pulled to the back seat. Stephens, Talent, and a third suspect were in the car. Court documents said Sero was kidnapped and shot dead almost instantly after getting into the car.
From there, the three suspects drove to an undeveloped piece of property in Mason County near Matlock. Courts documents said the suspects burned Sero’s body at that site for several hours and then left. Stephens told investigators he went back to the burn site the next day by himself and put what was left of Sero’s remains into three separate bags. The suspect dumped two of the bags in a nearby river and kept the third bag containing Sero’s bones. Stephens then went home in Pierce County.
Investigators said Stephens agreed to show them where he disposed of the remains in the river, as well as Sero’s clothes and a gun he was accused of having. Stephens also told detectives the bag containing Sero’s bones was in the trunk of his car. Investigators also said they found the suspected silver car used during the kidnapping parked at a grocery store in Gig Harbor with blood inside.
The next court hearings for Stephens and Talent were scheduled for November 10. Investigators are actively searching for the third suspect involved.
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