Autopsies will be conducted Monday on the bodies of four people murdered inside a home in Waynesville in Bartholomew County.
Tommy Smith, 39, and his girlfriend Katherine Burton, 53, were found shot to death in the home they shared at 2634 East Main Street in this small roadside community south of Columbus.
Aaron Cross, 41, and Shawn Burton, 41, both of Columbus, were also found with fatal bullet wounds.
The two Burtons are not related.
The bodies were found by Katherine’s son Daniel Saturday night who called 911.
“The caller advised that he had just returned home from work and he had just found two individuals in the living room of his home who appeared to have blood on them and appeared to be deceased,” said Sheriff Mark Gorbett.
Bartholomew County prosecutors joined Gorbett and Indiana State Troopers and Columbus Police detectives in examining evidence from the scene.
“We have been working around the clock and will continue to do so until we can bring those responsible to justice,” said Gorbett.
Neighbors said Smith had a violent temper that brought deputies to the home on more than one occasion.
“I get along with them as far as that goes,” said Steve Furkin. “Its just some activity that goes on that I don’t quite go along with. I’m not here to turn nobody in, but they shot my brother. I don’t like that.
“I’ll say…hell…I might just as well speak it out loud. It’s probably drug related, to make a guess.”
Other neighbors tell Fox 59 News that visitors frequently arrived at the house at all hours of the day and night and drugs were suspected.
“After not being out here and seeing them for so long, you don’t know who they’re associating with,” said Brandon Pickett who was a friend of Daniel Burton who found the bodies. “So its hard telling. It could’ve been anybody.
“This is sad. This was a family. They were home.”
Smith ‘s aunt Rennie Haeseley was forced to deliver the bad news to her sister in North Carolina.
“Horrible. Horrible,” said Haeseley as she stood outside the Waynesville Chapel just down the street from the Smith house. “How do you call a mother and tell them their son was just murdered?”
Haeseley said Smith and Katherine Burton were devoted to one another.
“They liked to go fishing all the time. They would bring out other people who needed tender love and both of them would take people in off the street. That’s the kind of people they were.
“They were inseparable. Wherever you seen Kathy, you seen Tommy. Good people.
“I’m not the judge,” said Haeseley, “so, whoever did it for whatever reason, God will take care of it. I know that.”