BRANSON WEST, Mo. -- The Stone County Sheriff's Department says four found dead in a southern Stone County home died from gunshot wounds to the head. Sheriff Doug Rader says they are all victims of murder-suicide.
Deputies were called to the home in a quiet retirement area Monday afternoon. Inside, he says they found the bodies of two women, one man, and one teeneager. The names of the victims have not been released. Sheriff Rader says they are a woman, 75, a man, 45, and his girlfriend, 44, and a teenaged boy, 17. Sheriff Rader says the oldest woman is either the 45 year old man or the 44 year old woman's mother. The teenager is the son of either the 45 year old man or 44 year old woman.
Rich Jarocki lives across the street from the home and called the sheriff's department after a family member, who lives out of town, of the people who lived at the home called him. They wanted Jarocki to check on the family because they hadn’t heard from them in a while. He went and knocked on the door and couldn’t get a response. He looked in the window and that's when he knew something was horribly wrong.
"No one came to the door. I rang the bell several times and then I knocked. I opened the storm door and I peered through the glass and I saw someone, a male, lying near the stairs that led down to the lower level," Jarocki said.
The neighborhood is mostly made up of retirees, Sheriff Rader said. Evelyn Hanley moved to the area from Texas recently because of the tranquil environment.
"I'll be praying for the [victims], because we've never had anything like this happen here that I know of," she said. "I talked to all of my neighbors and they said [they haven't seen anything like this]."
"I believe it's just an isolated event at this residence," the sheriff said. "I don't believe neighbors have anything to be scared of at this time."
The Missouri Highway Patrol is also assisting.