San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


1:46 TUESDAY, APRIL 30: Police think a damaged vehicle left in the Hays High School parking lot may be the one that struck and killed 37-year-old Phillip Duran on Saturday. Kyle police seized the black SUV and are questioning its owner, a Hay High School student. Police will not release the name of the driver, police spokesperson Jerry Hendrix said in a statement released today.


MONDAY, APRIL 29: Police are investigating the death of a 37-year-old Kyle man found lying in tall grass Sunday afternoon at the southwest intersection of Kyle Parkway and Kohler’s Crossing.



Phillip Duran, 37, was last seen at about 10 p.m. Saturday as he left the house he shares with his parents for a routine nighttime run, Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said. When he did not return home, Duran’s mother contacted police at about 9 a.m. Sunday.

Police have either not received, or have not yet released, results of an autopsy ordered by Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith. Barnett said in a statement released Monday afternoon that “a possible cause is an auto vs. pedestrian accident” Police found a side mirror and other wreckage believed to come from a black 2000-2006 Tahoe, Suburban or Yukon in the area near where Duran’s body.

Duran’s half-brother, Chad Benninghoff, a candidate Kyle City Council seat in the May 7 election, wrote on his Facebook timeline that his brother was killed in a hit-and-run.

After taking off work early on Sunday to help search for his brother, Benninghoff wrote, “I found him on the shoulder south of Kohler’s Crossing on southbound 1626 murdered. Even though he was wearing his orange vest someone killed him and left the scene.”

Benninghoff told an Austin TV news station on Monday that he had been contacted by a witness who says she saw a black SUV swerve and seem to strike something while driving southbound on FM 1626 Sunday evening; the vehicle’s driver told the witness he had hit a deer and she went on her way.

Barnett asks anyone who knows about the accident, or who sees a vehicle matching the description of the presumed suspect’s, to call the Kyle Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at 512-268-3232.

A version of this story was originally published in the Hays Free Press. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.

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