Grayden Denham returned to Platte County over the weekend, still facing a felony charge related to a quadruple homicide investigation.
At this time, no murder charges have been filed against the 24-year-old, but he was arraigned Monday, June 6 in Platte County court on a charge of stealing a car with the defendant appearing via video with a not guilty plea entered on his behalf. He is slated to appear at another hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 14 in Platte County court. Authorities booked Denham into the Platte County Detention Center on Saturday, June 4 after being extradited from Arizona.
Denham has been listed as a person of interest in the deaths of four family members in what started as a four-fatality fire in late February.
After the early part of the investigation, the four homicide victims were identified as 82-year-old Russell Denham, 81-year-old Shirley Denham, 32-year-old Heather Ager and Mason Schiavoni, Ager’s three-month-old son. Grayden Denham was the grandson of the two eldest victims, brother of Ager and uncle to Schiavoni.
All five were residents of the same house at 4170 Buena Vista Road in Edgerton, Mo., although Grayden Denham has been called only an occasional occupant.
Late on Friday, Feb. 19, authorities responded to the residence for reports of a fire. The victims were found to be murdered with the bodies burnt outside of the house, but no suspects have ever been publicly named.
Three of the victims were found in the front yard, while Russell Denham was located near an outbuilding east of the home, lying on his back with a red plastic gas container nearby. A family dog was also found dead at the scene.
At the time, Platte County sheriff Mark Owen said something about the fire and deaths “wasn’t quite right” from the beginning.
Grayden Denham became a labeled person of interest in the case, and authorities apprehended him two days after the fire while walking naked in a small Arizona town. They also located a brown 2012 Nissan Versa at a nearby hotel, a vehicle which had been stolen from Russell and Shirley Denham and was discovered missing during the fire/homicide investigation.
Outside of the vehicle, authorities located a pile of clothes, and Grayden Denham was not a registered guest of the hotel.
On Monday, Feb. 22, Platte County prosecuting attorney Eric Zahnd charged Grayden Denham with felony theft for taking the Versa, which was found in Seligman, Ariz. with Oklahoma license plates from a rental car. His court date listed in public records pertains to that case.
Grayden Denham remained in custody in Yavapi County, Arizona on other charges, and recently, the extradition process brought him back to Platte County. He remains in custody in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bond.
In addition to the charge of auto theft, Denham likely violated his probation from a recent guilty plea to assaulting a law enforcement officer in Johnson County (Mo.) while he was being booked into jail there on active warrants. He was sentenced to two years probation in January of 2016, and a hearing on the matter was held in Johnson County court in early April.