WAYNESVILLE, Ind. - Police in Bartholomew County hoped for new leads Monday after four people were found fatally shot in a home in rural Waynesville late Saturday night.
Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher said one of the victims was homeowner Katheryn Burton, 53, of Waynesville. Her live-in fiance, Thomas Smith, 39, was also found dead.
Their friends -- Aaron Cross, 41, and Shawn Burton, 41 -- were found fatally shot in a living room.
The victims were found Saturday in a home at 2634 E. Main St. in Waynesville, a community about six miles south of Columbus, about 10:40 p.m.
Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett said dispatchers received a call from a man who said he just returned home from work and found at least two people in the living room area of the home who were dead and appeared to be bloody.
Gorbett said the caller, 27-year-old Daniel Burton, told the dispatcher that he lived at the home with his mother and stepfather. The dispatcher had the caller leave the home until officers arrived, police said.
When deputies and Indiana State Police arrived at the home about 10:50 p.m., they found two additional people who were also dead.
Crime scene detectives said they found the bodies of Smith, Cross and Shawn Burton in the living room and Katheryn Burton in the bedroom.
"They (were) nice people. I never heard nothing bad about them. All the neighbors here get along," said friend Mark Fugate.
A neighbor disagreed. Stevie Furkin said Smith shot and wounded his brother in a dispute over a year ago.
Furkin, a father, said he often smelled ingredients used to make methamphetamine coming from the property. He said he used his SUV to block drug buyers from parking on his property.
"I'm sure it's over now. There's nobody left. That was the last of the Mohicans. It's the last of the drug heads down here in the village that's going to corrupt our children," Furkin said.
Furkin was not the only one who believed drugs could have contributed to the deadly shooting.
"I think drugs were involved. Methamphetamine has a really bad grip on this town," said friend James Cody.
"I'd be shocked because they never showed me anything. I'm not saying they didn't because I didn't know anything about their personal life inside their house," said Thomas Smith's aunt, Rennie Haeseley.
Haeseley said she won't focus on the who and why, but will focus on being there for her heartbroken sister.
"I pray for the person that did it and I'm not the judge so whoever did it and for whatever reason, God will take care of them. I know that," Haeseley said.
No arrests have been made.
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