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Harris County Sheriff's Office
Tuesday February 25th, 2014 :: 11:39 a.m. CST


Details released in Dec. 13 murder of Caroline Stagner, 72, who saved cash to buy Christmas presents for her grandkids

Discarded pill bottles labeled with the name of Caroline Stagner were found about three blocks from her burned house, leading to capital murder charge against Ethen Drake, 21, according to a probable cause affidavit made public today.

The bottles were found at or near Drake's parents' residence after the Dec. 13 stabbing death of Stagner, 72, whose house was damaged in a fire that day.

Relatives said Stagner had a large amount of cash she planned to use to buy Christmas presents for her grandchildren. Drake, who was unemployed, typically lacked cash but later paid a friend $140 in cash to drive him to Gladewater in northeast Texas, according to the affidavit.

In Gladewater, Drake is accused of committing a similar crime -- taking pills and checks from a neighbor's home and setting it on fire in January, according to the affidavit.

Drake is being returned to Harris County to face the capital murder charge. His jail booking photo will be released when it becomes available.

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Harris County Sheriff's Office
1200 Baker St
Houston, TX 77002

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