DEEP GAP — Search warrants for surveillance camera footage, a Snapchat account and four to five cell phones were executed by Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in the case of the April 10 double homicide in Deep Gap, revealing more about the crime that has shocked the High Country community.
Tristan Noah Borlase, 17, of Orchard Road, Deep Gap, was arrested on April 11 and charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his parents — Jeffery David Borlase, 43, and Tanya Maye Borlase, 44.
Court documents indicate that the bodies appeared to have been removed from the residence. Documents state that authorities believed that “... an altercation occurred inside this residence that led to the demise of the male individual and the female individual located outside of the residence.”
Blood was located throughout the “entire residence” of the home as well as outside of the residence, according to court documents. The documents also state that an empty handgun holster was located on a bedroom floor, but do not indicate if a weapon was recovered.
The body of Jeff Borlase was found outside — about 30 to 40 yards away from the residence — behind an outbuilding with a noticeable puncture wound, and he was partially covered with leaves, stated Deputy Matthew Rollins in the documents. Tanya Borlase’s body was found in the bed of a truck that was parked up an embankment and abandoned; she was reportedly covered in a blanket and bags of mulch, he said.
While the State Bureau of Investigation was at the scene the day after the incident, Watauga officials were notified that officials in Johnson County, Tenn., had Tristan Borlase detained after a traffic stop. Court documents state a female minor was with Tristan Borlase during the traffic stop.
District Attorney Seth Banks said that the investigation is ongoing and Tristan Borlase is the only person charged in this case at this time.
A search warrant for Tristan Borlase’s Snapchat account was issued on April 12. Search warrants for the cell phones of Tristan Borlase and the minor girl were issued three days later. Search warrants were also taken out for approximately three other cell phones, one of which documents state may help establish a timeline of events leading up to the alleged crime.
Search warrants were also issued for data from the eight surveillance cameras the Borlase couple had on the exterior of the home in addition to data from a doorbell video camera. Documents state that the multiple camera angles outside of the home “provides an opportunity for evidence related to the crime of first-degree murder, evidence related to the disposal/attempted disposal of deceased individuals and any and all actions taken by the offender that were recorded on the device.”
Tristan Borlase’s first court appearance is scheduled for May 7. He is being represented by defense attorney Garland Baker.