Brenna R. Kelly, The Cincinnati Enquirer
BURLINGTON, Ky. -- Three Kentucky men charged with torturing, kidnapping, killing and dismembering another man told deputies they wanted to "rid the world of the evil in it," said Boone County (Ky.) Sheriff's deputies.
On Wednesday, authorities said Daniel Delfin, 19, of Walton, Ky., was beaten and strangled before being cut up with a machete and possibly a saw.
The three men were arrested Tuesday as detectives were investigating Delfin's disappearance, said Tom Scheben, a spokesman for the Boone County Sheriff's office. Walton, in northern Kentucky, is about 21 miles south of Cincinnati.
Delfin was killed Jan. 9, authorities said. His torso and legs were left in a field in Verona, Ky., while his head, arms and feet were thrown in a dumpster.
Delfin was a suspected heroin dealer, Scheben said.
His sister reported him missing Sunday, but by that time, deputies say, he was already dead.
The three men, Jeffrey Allen, 21, of Verona, Anthony Baumgartner, 23, of Florence, Ky., and Stephen Harkness, 22, of Verona, are scheduled to appear in court Thursday. According to court records, they are all represented by the public defender's office.
Boone Sheriff's deputies say the trio admitted to killing the man because they were trying to rid the world of evil.
"They were going to rid the world, perhaps one person at a time, of the evil in it," Scheben said.
The three men under "a ruse of a drug deal with this individual met with him, kidnapped him, beat him, killed him and dismembered him," he said.
As detectives were searching for Delfin on Monday, they received a tip that the three men were involved in his death, Scheben said.
Once in custody the men talked to detectives.
"One of them a little more than the other two," he said. "But then they started adding to it."
On Monday night, detectives searched a field next to a home where Allen lived with his mother. Detectives found the torso, which had a tattoo matching one that the missing man was known to have.
After learning that some of the parts had been taken to a dumpster, 10 to 12 deputies searched the Rumpke Landfill in Pendleton County, Ky., hoping to find more of the victim's remains. Nothing was found Tuesday and detectives do not plan to return to the landfill, Scheben said.
Authorities will not need the other parts to make a positive identification, but deputies were hoping to be able to return Delfin's body to his family, he said.
"We wanted to provide some closure to the family," he said.
Detectives believe that Delfin was beaten at one location, then driven to the field where he was beaten again and strangled. The trio then used a machete to cut up the body. Detectives also recovered a reciprocating saw blade nearby and are investigating whether it was also used to cut up the body.
Only one of the three suspects have a criminal record.
One month after his 18th birthday, Baumgartner was arrested on drug charges in Campbell County, Ky., according to state court records. In March 2007, he was charged with first degree possession of cocaine, possession of another drug which was not specified and possession of drug paraphernalia. One of the drug possession charges and the paraphernalia charge were dismissed. The cocaine charge was amended, but court records to do not show the disposition.
In March 2009, Baumgartner pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking in Kenton County, Ky., and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years probation. Also in 2009, he was charged with carrying a concealed weapon in Campbell County; the charge was later dismissed.
According to their Facebook pages, both Harkness and Allen are former Marines.
Contributing: Patrick Reddy and Terry DeMio, The Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Cincinnati Enquirer