A 22-year-old Lake Brownwood man who confessed to his church congregation to the 2016 sexual assault and murder of a fellow church-goer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Associated Press reports that Ryan Riggs confessed to killing 25-year-old Rhonda "Chantay" Blankinship at the church both attended in November of 2017 - about a year and a half after the murder. KTXS reports that Blankship was last seen on the night of May 13, 2016. Her remains were discovered in the cellar of an abandoned property two days later.

Riggs' confession came after police used DNA evidence to draft a sketch of a suspect. He initially fled the area before returning and confessing before the congregation of Northlake Community Church.

Blankship's mother tells KTXS she has forgiven Riggs, and is at peace now that justice has been served. Northlake Community Church Pastor Ron Keener has reportedly been ministering to Riggs in jail, and prayed with the young man before he agreed to serve life in prison.

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