District attorney Craig Ladd said the state medical examiner’s determination of homicide/suicide in the deaths of a Burneyville couple are “consistent” with preliminary evidence in the case.


District attorney Craig Ladd said the state medical examiner’s determination of homicide/suicide in the deaths of a Burneyville couple are “consistent” with preliminary evidence in the case.
But Ladd cautioned Friday afternoon the inquiry into the deaths of Carol and James Lee was not over.


“There is more investigation into the forensic evidence that needs to be done,” Ladd said.
Earlier in the day Cherokee Ballard, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, confirmed autopsies had been completed on the Love County couple. Ballard said Carol Lee died from a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death had been labeled a homicide.


Ballard said the 54-year-old woman’s 71-year-old husband also died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.


“The manner of death is suicide,” Ballard said.


The bodies of the couple were found about noon Thursday by a relative who went to the residence after becoming concerned they could not be reached by phone. Love County Sheriff Joe Russell said he believed the last time the pair had been seen alive was “probably Tuesday.”

Russell immediately requested assistance from the OSBI in probing the deaths.


OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said agents arrived on the scene about 3 p.m. Thursday. Just hours into the investigation Brown said “We are investigating this as a double homicide but that could change,” adding agents would defer to the state medical examiner for the cause and manner in which the couple died.


Late Thursday night Ladd confirmed guns had been found inside the couple’s residence.
Carol Lee’s death marks the first slaying in Love County this year.


Marsha Miller 221-6529
marsha.miller@ardmoreite.com