As relatives received visitors today, authorities identified the three bodies pulled from the rubble of a Ball Ground home leveled by a fire last month, and announced all were victims of a murder-suicide.
"Facts and circumstances of the deaths lead investigators to conclude that Ricky Norrell shot his wife Darlene and daughter Lindsey before taking his own life," Lt. Jay Baker, the spokesman for the , said this afternoon in a press release.
The medical examiner at the GBI crime lab found that 46-year-old Darlene and 19-year-old Lindsey Norrell were shot in the head, the victims of homicide. The death of 49-year-old Ricky Norrell was listed as a suicide.
"Ricky Norrell’s body was mostly consumed in the fire," Baker said. "However, the remains of a .22 caliber rifle were found near his body. In addition, the Medical Examiner’s findings were consistent with Ricky Norrell dying from a head wound—believed to be a gunshot wound."
Just before 4 a.m. July 18, neighbors called 911 after hearing what sounded like an explosion at the family's Spriggs Trail home, spokesman Tim Cavender said on the day of the fire. When Lt. Wesley Densmore and other firefighters arrived on the scene, the house was already on the ground.
They were able to identify Darlene Norrell a week after the fire through dental records. Ricky and Lindsey Norrell were identified through DNA testing, which took additional time.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office and the fire department are still trying to piece together the cause of the fire, which has not been determined.
"At this point," Baker said, "we will be making no further comment on this matter."
The family is receiving visitors today at in Canton.
A funeral service for the family is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church with Rev. Terry Cowart and Rev. Troy Milford officiating. Burial will follow at the Ophir Baptist Church Cemetery in Ball Ground.
"Out of respect for their privacy," Baker said, "the families of the victims have requested the media not contact them."