Local/State

Triangle speaking out about Silliman murder

Thursday, December 04, 2008
Matthew Silliman 18-year-old Matthew Silliman Olive Branch Lane Four teens charged with murder

Friends and neighbors are reacting to the news of 18-year-old Matthew Silliman's murder and about the teens charged in connection with his death.

Thursday afternoon investigators confirmed the body found at a home in New Hill was in fact missing 18-year-old Matthew Silliman.

The four teens accused of killing him faced a judge Thursday afternoon. Aadil Shaaid Kahn, 17, Allegra Rose Dahlquist, 17, Drew Logan Shaw, 16, and Ryan Patrick Hare, 18, could face life in prison if convicted.

Click here to read the arrest warrants.

According to Silliman's Facebook page, the suspects were all his friends. The teen was first reported missing by his parents on Nov. 26 and authorities had issued a Silver Alert for him. He was last seen less than 10 miles from the crime scene.

Medical examiners say they have not confirmed a cause of death. They are releasing few details, only saying the murder took place on Sunday.

Police are also not talking about a potential motive, but others are talking about Silliman's life.

Eyewitness News has learned that Silliman spent a good part of his adolescence as a Boy Scout --achieving the distinction of Eagle Scout.

His scoutmaster is in disbelief over his untimely death.

"It's unbelievable," Matthew's Former Troop Leader Bart Vashaw said. "It's just tragic, the whole situation and your heart just goes out to his parents at an unbelievable degree."

Vashaw gives a different description of the teen who by some accounts may have felt like a social outcast at Apex High School.

"He was energetic, he was rambunctious," Vashaw said.

Vashaw says he first met Silliman four years ago when his oldest son joined the Boy Scouts.

He was fully impressed, last summer, when Silliman eventually became an Eagle Scout.

"He was very intelligent, self sufficient & you could put him in charge of the group and say, 'it's your job to make sure that everything gets cooked, everything gets cleaned up, run stuff'," Vashaw said. "I don't know what his grades were like, but I got the impression that he did well in school, I don't know."

When Silliman turned 18-years-old and left scouting, Vashaw says he began to notice changes.

"His attitude just seemed a little bit more distant maybe," Vashaw said. "He was dressing a little more black leather kind of thing and he kept changing his hair."

Silliman was supposed to speak at a fellow scout's ceremony Nov. 29, just days after he went missing.

Vashaw hasn't addressed his troop since Silliman's body was found inside a vacant mobile home, but when he does, he says the talk will be extremely difficult.

Vashaw says his troop meets again next Tuesday. At that time counselors will be available.

He will also encourage scouts to share positive memories of Silliman to help deal with the tragedy.

About the suspects

Silliman attended Apex High along with Dahlquist and Kahn.

Dahlquist owned her own pet sitting business to pay for horseback riding lessons. When she practiced, her trainers say hare and khan would often watch.

But they say the murder charges against Dahlquist come as a shock.

"We just want people to know she's a good person," Family Friend Ben and Erin Tursam said. "I hope that this was just a mix up and she just got involved with the wrong people."

The youngest suspect 16-year-old Shaw writes on his website that he's a "juggalo" a social outcast.

All five teenagers were labeled "gothic" by their peers. But friends say none of them were capable of murder.

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