By Charlie Bauder, WNEG Radio, Toccoa
Authorities are declaring the deaths of two individuals in Toccoa last week as a murder-suicide.
Toccoa Police Chief Tim Jarrell says that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner notified the Stephens County Coroner’s office Wednesday of the ruling involving the deaths of 51-year-old Ernest Farren Mitchell and 49-year-old Selena Dianne Mitchell, both of Toccoa.
“From the information that the Medical Examiner’s Office was able to obtain and their part of the investigation, Mr. Mitchell shot his wife and then shot himself,” said Jarrell.
Jarrell says they do not have a reason for why this happened at this point.
He adds they continue to investigate the case to try to determine that.
According to Jarrell, it all started when an officer responded to the Mitchell’s apartment at Andrews Court on Currahee Street in Toccoa just after noon on Tuesday for a welfare check.
“When we arrived, we met with the complainant,” said Jarrell. “He told us he had come by to check on family members. When he got there, the door was locked. No one responded to the door. While he was looking in the window, he could see someone laying on the floor.”
Jarrell says that an officer forced his way into the apartment and found a man and woman dead on the floor.
“When officers made entry into the apartment, there was a clear indication to the officers that these deaths were not of a natural cause,” said Jarrell.
Jarrell says they do not have a timeframe at this point for when the deaths occurred, adding that is also part of the ongoing investigation.
This is the second declared murder-suicide in the city of Toccoa in recent weeks.