Meridian Star

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December 23, 2010

(8:00 p.m.) Murder-suicide update

MERIDIAN — The scene at a home at 788 Murphy Road late this afternoon was too much to take for even hardened investigators with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department.

LCSD Chief Dep. Ward Calhoun said two investigators, after viewing the unthinkable acts that led to the death of two adults and two children in an apparent murder-suicide, had to be relieved from duty after they tried to help process the scene.

"They are fathers of small children themselves and this was just too much for them," said Calhoun. "It is hard on all of us especially this time of year."

Sheriff Billy Sollie said the names of all those killed are being withheld. He said the two adults were the father and mother of the two children but were not married.

Sollie said the father of the deceased male found the carnage around 4:30 p.m. when he came home from work.

Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler placed the time of death around 7:30 a.m. today. Sollie said he was not prepared to say who did the actual shooting and would wait until the investigation had moved further before he released that information.

Sollie said the father and his son lived at the home and it appeared the mother and children had just recently been living at the residence.

Sollie said the mother's body was found in the living room while one of the children was found in the hallway. The father and the other child were found in a bedroom.

Sollie said multiple shots had been fired from a gun that was recovered at the scene. Although there was clear evidence some of the victims had been shot, Sollie said all of the bodies were going to be transported to Jackson for autopsies to determine the exact cause of death.

"This is just a terrible thing to happen any time of the year but for it to be now makes it that much more difficult for this family and others," Sollie said.

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