By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times
WINSTON COUNTY —
The four Tennessee residents found dead in a car as part of a potential murder-suicide in Winston County reportedly left notes stating they would rather die than go to prison. Authorities say all four of the victims were under investigation in Tennessee for child pornography charges.
The deceased include 30-year-old Kevin Carey, 29-year-old Robert Hamrick, 39-year-old Kristi Hunt Hamrick and 37-year-old Andy Keith Hunt. Winston County Sheriff Rick Harris said all four people were from Savannah, Tenn.
Robert Hamrick had reportedly lived near Winston County in 2002, which officials say could explain why their final resting place came to be on a rural stretch of Winston County Road 327.
The suicide notes were reportedly similar, with all four professing innocence in regards to the child porn allegations. The notes also asked for their families to be notified, and that arrangements be made at their respective funerals.
Authorities say the notes were hand-written and signed individually. The documents have been shipped to an FBI lab for additional evaluation.
After almost a week of forensics work, authorities have determined Hunt’s was the only death classified as a suicide. A total of five spent rounds were found at the scene, and a 12-gauge pump shotgun was found outside Hunt’s driver window.
All four people died from gunshot wounds.
A passer-by noticed the vehicle off County Road 327 on her way to work last Wednesday and called authorities when she saw it in the same place on her way home.
The vehicle was still running when deputies approached it several hours later, with the radio turned up extremely loud. All the doors were closed, and all the windows were open.
Law enforcement officials say a friend of Carey’s has come forward to reveal he met with Carey and the other three individuals a few days before their deaths. Carey reportedly told his friend they were accused of a serious crime in Tennessee and planned to kill themselves.
Authorities believe the deaths were part of a suicide pact, or assisted suicide.
‰ Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.