Editor’s note: The details of this story may be disturbing to some readers.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Investigators believe two brothers who now live in Austin are tied to their grandfather’s murder in Pennsylvania 10 years ago.
Their grandmother Virginia Hayden is already charged with murder for the death of her husband Thomas. She’s also charged with dozens of counts related to concealing her husband’s death and collecting more than $100,000 in his Social Security benefits. Investigators believe Thomas was killed between 2011 and 2021.
This crime now has ties to Austin.
Search warrants have been issued for Hayden’s grandchildren Steven and Michael Harris. The warrant calls for the collection of their DNA. According to the court document, police in Pennsylvania have tried to acquire DNA samples from them since Oct. 2021 but have not been able to reach them.
“That’s just insane,” said Alex Contreras. We found him outside of the house listed as the last known address for Steven Harris. Contreras said he just toured the Salem House Way home with his realtor. He and his roommate are looking to move.
“That’s crazy,” he said, when we told him what we were doing there.
We knocked on the door of the home, and the man who answered knew Steven, but did not wish to speak with us on camera. He said Steven used to live there and the two had been roommates, but that Steven didn’t share anything about his family life with him. The roommate said he did meet Hayden at one point, though.
According to the search warrant, Hayden was “very close” with her grandson Michael and had given him a credit card in Thomas’ name. When police questioned Michael about the card, he told investigators he was in high school and to him it was just “free money.” The warrant also states Michael and Virginia had conversations about disposing bodies.
“Virginia informed Michael if you feed a person to pigs, they eat everything but the hair,” the document reads.
Investigators ultimately arrested Hayden in her husband’s death after finding a vacuum-sealed bag with a scalp and bloodied bedsheet inside on the side of a Pennsylvania road. Those remains were later identified as Thomas.’
The warrant states both Michael and Steven were juveniles at the time. According to Pennsylvania law, a minor can be tried as an adult as young as 14 years old if the courts rule that would be in the public’s best interest.
We asked the Austin Police Department or an update on what’s happened since the search warrant was issued for the brothers but have not heard back.
The full search warrant document is below, certain details may be disturbing to some viewers.