The discovery of two bodies in a home in Avilla was being investigated late Sunday by the Jasper County Sheriff's Department.
While that was happening, the Newton County Sheriff's Department was wrapping up a crime scene along State Line Road, southwest of Loma Linda, where a body was found by a passerby in a ditch Saturday afternoon. That death is being investigated as a homicide, Newton County Sheriff Chris Jennings said Sunday night.
Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser said little information could be released about the two bodies that were found in a home on Greenfield Street in Avilla about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, noting that the investigation had only just begun.
Kaiser said he couldn’t release details about the victims, including their gender or possible causes of death, because family members or next of kin had not yet been notified as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
The details Kaiser said he could release were that someone came to the home and saw an individual inside who didn’t respond to knocks or shouts.
“That person called 911, and the Avilla Fire Department responded and made entry into the home,” Kaiser said. “They found two people deceased in the home and called sheriff’s deputies to the scene.”
Kaiser said he could not confirm a cause of death. He also couldn't say whether this was an isolated incident or whether people in this tiny town on the east side of Jasper County needed to be on the lookout for possible trouble.
“It's too early to say if there’s a continued danger to the public because honestly we don’t know. I would tell you if I feel like this is an isolated incident, but I don't know yet,” Kaiser said. “I would just tell people to use caution and make sure their houses are secure, their vehicles are secure. If they see something that looks suspicious and doesn't feel right, please feel free to call us and let us know and we’ll be happy to come check it out.”
Kaiser said he hoped to release more details Monday.
Jennings said the crime scene along State Line Road where the body was found Saturday had been processed, that the victim had been identified and that next of kin were being notified.
"We hope to release the name of the victim tomorrow," he said Sunday. "We are treating it as a homicide.''
An autopsy will be scheduled early this week to provide more information on the cause of death, he said.