Barrow authorities investigating deaths of grandparents as double homicide

Authorities in Barrow County are treating the deaths of two grandparents found inside their home Monday morning as a double homicide, according to Channel 2 Action News. 

The official cause of death for the man and woman has not been determined.

Investigators said they were called after an adult relative discovered the bodies of Willard Ron Hess, 70, and Dorothy E. Hess, 72, in the Southridge Road residence in Winder. The relative notified the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office just before 9:30 a.m., according to the agency.

During their investigation Monday, sheriff’s deputies and GBI agents processed two scenes, the Hess home and the home of the relative who discovered their bodies across the street. He is their grandson, Channel 2 reported.

“The family member’s residence was processed as a precautionary measure because it was believed there were two scenes involved,” sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Ryan Sears said Tuesday morning in a news release. “The Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisted with the processing of the scene.” 

The sheriff’s office has not released any information about the condition in which the victims were found. Channel 2 reported that the sheriff’s office believes it knows how the couple died, but it is not releasing that information to the public. The autopsy was expected to be performed by the GBI.

Investigators are interested in speaking with the owner of a vehicle seen in the Winder neighborhood. They released photos of the vehicle, which appears to be a dark sedan.

Barrow County sheriff’s investigators released three photos of a vehicle they said is “of interest” in the case.
Photo: Barrow County Sheriff’s Office

According to Channel 2, the subdivision is a single-road neighborhood with one way in and one way out. Officials told the news station the car was parked in front of the Hess’ home at least twice in the week before their bodies were discovered. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 770-307-3080.

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