Sheriff: ‘Brutal’ Waynesville murders were drug-related

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WAYNESVILLE – During a news conference Tuesday, investigators in Bartholomew County said the deaths of four people in Waynesville were drug-related.

According to Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett, investigators found methamphetamine at the crime scene. Coroner Larry Fisher said all victims had been shot in the head. Male victims had multiple gunshot wounds on the upper body and the female homeowner had been shot and stabbed, Fisher said.

Killed were Kathy Burton, 53, her boyfriend Thomas Smith, 39, Aaron Cross, 41, and Shawn Burton, 41. Investigators characterized Saturday’s quadruple murder as a “very violent and brutal attack.”

Investigators have interviewed two persons of interest, but no arrests have been made. Daniel Burton, Kathy Burton’s son, discovered the bodies. He is not considered a suspect, Gorbett said.

Autopsies have been completed on the victims, and the remains have been returned to their families. Toxicology and ballistics tests will take several weeks to complete. Gorbett said investigators found a rifle near the crime scene, although they weren’t sure if it was related to the killings.

Investigators recovered several spent shell casings and the knife used to kill Kathy Burton. Gorbett said sheriff’s deputies will continue to hold the crime scene until they’ve gathered every last bit of evidence.