(Laurel, Ind.) – How and why five people died in the tiny Franklin County community of Laurel remains a mystery, as investigators continue to share little information on the deaths.
At about 1:30 Sunday afternoon, motorists on Stipps Hill Road found a four-year-old girl walking in the road and stopped.
Indiana State Police said the good Samaritans called 911 for help. A deputy arrived and called for backup upon hearing what the child had to say.
A man’s dead body would be found in a home nearby at 24030 Stipps Hill Road. Four more bodies of two men and two women were found in a home directly across the street at 24015 Stipps Hill Road.
Fox 59 TV in Indianapolis has identified the man found alone was Henry Smith. The four people found in the neighboring home were family members: Roy Napier, his estranged wife Angela Napier and their two grown children, Jake and Melissa Napier.
The girl found in the road who led police to the scene was reported to be the daughter of Melissa Napier. The child was last said to be safe with police. It is unclear if she witnessed the shootings.
With investigators saying so little about their findings, news media have been left to piece together the information people in Franklin County want to know – is a killer running free?
Helicopters were seen searching the area near Stipps Hill Sunday afternoon and evening, possibly for a shooting suspect. Area residents were told to not answer the door for strangers.
Franklin County Sheriff Kenneth Murphy said Monday that a manhunt was no longer ongoing. Investigators have not indicated whether the person, or persons, responsible for the deaths was among the bodies found or was still at-large.
Autopsies to determine exact causes of death for the five dead were scheduled for Monday morning in Indianapolis at the Marion County Coroner’s Office.
As of Monday afternoon, friends, family, and neighbors of the shooting victims have a lot of unanswered questions.
If anyone knows anything about this crime they are encouraged to contact detectives at the Indiana State Police Post at Versailles at 812-689-5000 or inside of Indiana at 1-800-566-6704. Callers can remain anonymous.