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Winston Co Sheriff: 2 of 4 people found dead were charged with child porn in Tennessee

Posted in Related Deaths
10-3-2013 Alabama:

WINSTON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The Winston County Sheriff saysthat two of the four people found dead in a vehicle near Double Springs were have been charged with child pornography and molestation-related crimes in Tennessee.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that four people who were found dead on Wednesday night near Double Springs were part of a murder/suicide.

Sheriff Rick Harris tells FOX6 News that those persons were set to go to trial Wednesday in Tennessee. Authorities now believe they were on the run and that these people have family in Empire (Walker County) and Hamilton (Marion County).

A forensics team has been on the case since late Wednesday evening. Harris says they are examining the vehicle in which the four bodies were found. At this time, is appears that all of the violence happened inside the vehicle, not outside.

Autopsies of the four bodies will be completed Thursday night in Huntsville.

Harris says the four bodies were found inside a vehicle off of County Road 327 Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, he said that the bodies have all been identified and their names will be released as soon as family members are notified.

According to Sheriff Harris, the four victims were three men and one woman, all from Tennessee. Their ages range from 25 to 50-something and the victims knew each other. Authorities in Tennessee are contacting family members of the victims to get more information and try to determine a motive.

The sheriff described the road where the car was located as very narrow and difficult to navigate. The scene is located in the Black Pond area, just south of Double Springs. The road is not well-traveled, but hunters have been known to park there before entering the woods to hunt.

Harris says a forensics team made it to the site between 10 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Wednesday.

"Right now we have more questions than answers," Harris said that night.

By 1 a.m. Thursday, there were 40 vehicles on scene tied into law enforcement activity.

Harris says there was a lot of potential evidence around the vehicle and because of that, investigators set up a 98-foot perimeter.

The vehicle has an out-of-state tag and authorities have not confirmed where the tags are registered. Harris says a passerby noticed the vehicle on her way to work Wednesday morning. When she saw the vehicle in the same place on her way home, she called authorities.

Investigators removed the vehicle on Thursday morning. A black tarp was wrapped around the vehicle and officers at the scene say the bodies were still inside. Investigators say they plan to scour the vehicle for fingerprints.

Sheriff Harris is asking the community to stay calm and says he believes this is an isolated incident. He said he is not sure how the four victims ended up in Winston County or why.

Harris says previous reports that the victims had been brutally beaten before their demise are untrue and "totally false."

Several calls about safety have been received by the Sheriff's Office from residents and those with lake houses in Winston County. Sheriff Harris says this is an isolated event and it ended at the incident location.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is also assisting with this case. ..Source.. by WBRC Staff

Four found shot dead in Alabama car left suicide notes denying child-porn charges, sheriff says

Four Tennesseans found shot to death in a car in Alabama last week died in a suicide pact, leaving behind notes proclaiming their innocence of child-porn allegations and detailing how they wanted their funerals to go, authorities said Monday.

The car and its grisly contents were discovered Wednesday night by the side of a logging road in William B. Bankhead National Forest in Winston County, about 65 miles northwest of Birmingham.

Winston County Sheriff Rick Harris confirmed the identities of all four victims Monday: Kristie Hunt Campbell Hamrick, 39; her ex-husband, Samuel Hamrick, 30; her brother, Robert Andy Keith Hunt, 38; and Kevin Carey, 30, a family friend.
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All four lived in the same home in Savannah, Tenn., Harris said.

Hunt is believed to have been the gunman, killing the three others with a 12-gauge shotgun before taking his own life, Harris said.

The Hamricks had been scheduled to appear in court in Tennessee in an FBI child-pornography investigation the day their bodies were found.

Harris said he couldn't discuss the case, and details weren't available Monday night. But Harris said it was likely that all four were caught up in the inquiry.

"Something was a bond for them together, and it may be it was as simple as criminality was their bond," he told WBRC TV of Birmingham.

Harris called the alleged crimes "pretty bizarre, pretty terrible," telling The Birmingham News: "If you have the FBI coming in to investigate, it's pretty serious."

All four had left statements in the car written on legal paper, Harris said. They each said they were innocent, listed family contacts and outlined their funeral wishes.

Harris told The News that it was one of the most bizarre cases he has ever handled.

"If someone was an aspiring writer, they might have an episode out of this," he said. ..Source.. by M. Alex Johnson, Staff Writer

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