Update 8:42 a.m.: Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said Tuesday morning that the autopsy results confirmed that the deaths were homicides and the cause of each death was blunt-force trauma. He declined to release further details concerning the autopsy report.
Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick said authorities are still processing the crime scene at the Bentley Drive home. No one has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Here are Thursday's updates:
Update 10:47 a.m.: Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick said Thursday morning that investigators may finish processing the crime scene at the 3057 Bentley Drive house today. There are no suspects in custody at this time, he added.
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Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said the doctor assisting with the autopsies will meet with one or more other medical examiners to discuss the findings. He said the results will be available after those officials have determined "how they want to sign it out."
"It was a difficult case, and evidently this doctor doesn't want to make the decision on his own," Bryan said. "The three of them will get together, or how ever many, have the meeting and make that decision."
Here are Wednesday's updates:
Update 1:35 p.m.: Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick confirmed that investigators are still at the 3057 Bentley Drive house processing the crime scene.
Update 12 p.m.: Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said this morning that all three autopsies are scheduled to be completed by about 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.
Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick said officials still do not have any suspects in custody.
Here are Tuesday's updates:
Update 2 p.m.: Gianna Lindsey, 10, was currently not enrolled in the Muscogee County School District.
She did attend North Columbus Elementary School for 2nd, 3rd and part of 4th grade but was withdrawn from the district in December 2014.
Update 1 p.m.: Counseling is being offered to students at Columbus' Shaw High School, where one victim of Monday's triple homicide in Upatoi attended school.
School district spokeswoman Valerie Fuller today issued this statement, asking reporters not to trouble the students or staff on their first day back to school after the holidays:
"Ms. Fuller has spoken with the principal of Shaw High School. Respectfully, this is the first day back to school for students and teachers. Our crisis team of professional counselors, psychologists, and social workers are assisting students and staff as necessary. As you can imagine, students and staff are shocked and saddened to hear of this news. Our priority is to ensure the overall well-being of our students and staff at this time. Please understand the investigation is still underway and we will continue to work with students and staff to help them cope with the grieving process and loss of our student. After speaking with school administrators, there will be no interviews scheduled at the Shaw High School today."
The victims were Gloria Short, 56; son Caleb Short, 17; and granddaughter Gianna Lindsey, 10. Caleb Short attended Shaw.
Update: 8:26 a.m.: Coroner Buddy Bryan said Tuesday morning that the bodies were removed from the home around 11 p.m. Monday. They are currently being transported to the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur, Ga.
Their autopsies will be performed Wednesday, Bryan said.
Here is Monday's report:
Locals were left shocked and bewildered Monday by news a grandmother, her son and granddaughter were found beaten to death in their home off McKee Road in north Columbus.
Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan identified the dead as Gloria Short, son Caleb Short and granddaughter Gianna Lindsey. Those who knew them said Gloria was in her 50s, Caleb was 17, and Gianna was 10.
Gloria’s husband Robert Short reportedly found the bodies in the Shorts’ 5037 Bentley Drive home after an “apparent break-in.” Each died from “blunt-force trauma,” Bryan said.
“It’s a brutal death,” Bryan said. “It’s a horrible situation. It’s out of the ordinary for us to run across a triple homicide like this.”
He pronounced them dead about 9:20 a.m. Robert called 911 around 8:30 a.m., authorities said.
Robert reportedly found the home’s garage door open and two vehicles missing, which police described as a silver 2014 Volkswagen Beetle with Georgia tag PLB 6099 and a green GMC Envoy with Georgia tag TMR 654. Officers found both automobiles later Monday.
Columbus police were taking extra care to preserve the crime scene, waiting until it had been thoroughly documented to remove the bodies.
Detectives disclosed no details. Police Maj. Gil Slouchick said Monday afternoon that investigators still were processing the crime scene and had no suspects. “We’re still trying to piece everything together,” he said.
Said Bryan: “When it’s under investigation like that, detectives don’t like for us to divulge too much information. It could hinder the case.”
He said police found bloody footprints at the scene. The bodies were “scattered throughout the house,” he said.
The crime lab in Decatur, Ga., will perform the autopsies, once the bodies are ready for transport, Bryan said. As of Monday evening, they remained inside the house.
It was a shock to the neighborhood about 1½ miles north of Macon Road in the Upatoi area. West of McKee Road, Bentley Drive circles back on itself, and the victims were found in a home on that circle.
Police closed the Bentley Drive loop at its neck, keeping reporters a block away from the crime scene.
Neighbors understandably found the news disturbing.
Palmer Holloway, Matthew Cleveland and Christian Andrede said they live in the area and had known the family for at least five years.
They were close to the victims, and often visited them, hey said. They played basketball with Caleb, who a neighbor said attended Shaw High School.
“Every time they would come over, she would feed us and let us play video games and all that type of stuff,” Holloway said of Gloria. “I can’t believe this would happen.”
Friends on Facebook posted tributes to Gloria’s page, calling her “one of the kindest people I have ever worked with or known.”
Gloria posted several pictures of her family and grandchildren. In one picture with Gianna, or GiGi, she said she was a proud “Oma.”
A Facebook friend posted:
“RIP to Mrs.Gloria Short (my other other mom) who always checked up on me from a kid to even now, rip Caleb who won’t be able to experience what it is to be a man in this world and start a family of his own and to their baby girl/granddaughter a precious soul taken without remorse rip!”
Another friend said Gloria was “like a mother to me,” and a third described her as a “beautiful person.”
“My heart is shattered as I cannot comprehend this type of violence,” a friend said.
Gloria’s last post on Facebook came just hours into the new year: “Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016. Happy New Year!”
Here are Monday's updates:
Update: 4:45 p.m.: Coroner Buddy Bryan said Monday afternoon the three victims in the Bentley Drive triple homicide died from blunt-force trauma.
Update 2:54 p.m.: Police dispatchers say investigators have recovered the two vehicles missing from the Bentley Drive homicide scene, a silver 2014 Volkswagen Beetle with Georgia tag PLB 6099 and a green GMC Envoy with Georgia tag TMR 654.
Update 2:25 p.m.: Police are on the lookout for two vehicles missing from the Bentley Drive home, a silver 2014 Volkswagen Beetle with Georgia tag PLB 6099 and a green GMC Envoy with Georgia tag TMR 654.
Police Maj. Gil Slouchick said detectives so far are still processing the crime scene and have no suspects at this time. "We're still trying to piece everything together," he said. Investigators have been on the scene since the deaths were reported shortly before 8 a.m., he said.
Update 2 p.m.: Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick declined to say if they've identified any suspects, but he did say no one has been arrested.
Update 1:20 p.m.: Bryan said police are investigating bloody footprints found at the scene.
Update noon: Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan estimates the oldest woman to be in her 50s, the son to be in his teens, and the youngest girl about 10.
"It's a brutal death," Bryan said. "It's a horrible situation. It's out of the ordinary for us to run across a triple homicide like this."
Police said two vehicles were missing from the house, one a silver Volkswagen and the other a green GMC sport-utility vehicle.
Update 11:30 a.m.: Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said Gloria Short, Caleb Short and Gianna Lindsey were found dead Monday morning after what officials believe was an apparent break-in at their Bentley Drive house.
The coroner received a call around 8:30 this morning.
The bodies were "scattered throughout the house," Bryan said. The ages of the victims and the cause of death were not available.
"When it's under investigation like that, detectives don't like for us to divulge too much information," Bryan said. "It could hinder the case."
Update 10 a.m.: Bryan has confirmed three people have been found dead in a Bentley Drive house, and it's being investigated as a homicide.
Bryan said a woman, her son and her granddaughter were found dead. The woman's husband called 911 this morning and reported he arrived home from work when he found them dead.
The crime lab in Decatur, Ga., will perform their autopsies, Bryan said. They all were pronounced dead around 9:20 a.m.
Original story: The Muscogee County Coroner confirmed Monday morning his office is responding to multiple deaths on Bentley Drive.
Coroner Buddy Bryan said around 9 a.m. that he was headed to 3057 Bentley Drive.
Multiple law enforcement agencies are on the scene. A woman can be heard screaming, "Oh, God!" according to a Ledger-Enquirer reporter.
Palmer Holloway, Matthew Cleveland and Christian Andrede live in the neighborhood and have known the family for at least five years.
They said they were close to the family and would often times visit them. They played basketball with Caleb in the neighborhood.
"Every time they would come over, she would feed us and let us play video games and all that type of stuff," Holloway said. "I can't believe this would happen."
No additional details are available at this time, but stay with ledger-enquirer.com for more information on this breaking story.