The four victims, three men and a woman, appear to have been shot inside the vehicle and all the bodies have been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Huntsville for autopsy. The victims range in age from mid-20s to early-50s, are Tennessee natives and are all Caucasian.
The vehicle was found south of Double Springs in the Black Pond community. Sheriff Rick Harris said the car was seen by a passerby at approximately 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning, but the area is one where people often park to hike in the woods or hunt so she wasn’t alarmed. When she passed through again at approximately 7 p.m. and saw the same vehicle in the same spot, she became alarmed and contacted the sheriff’s office.
The four victims have been identified, but authorities are not releasing the identity publicly at this time.
Harris said that Tennessee authorities had charged two of the individuals with child pornography and child sex abuse and the other two were implicated in the case, although they had not yet been charged. The two charged individuals were scheduled to be in court Wednesday. Harris said there was no obvious connection between the individuals and Winston County, although there was evidence to suggest the foursome had been in north Alabama for a few weeks.
The overall message the sheriff wants to send is that the area is safe and that the killer was one of the victims inside that car. He said he had gotten a number of calls asking about the numerous lake houses in the area that are often inhabited only on weekends, but Harris said there is no danger to the general public.
“The lake is safe, don’t be fearful,” Harris said. “What started there, ended there.”