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Deaths of toddler, caretaker being treated as homicides, GBI says

The deaths of a toddler and a woman found shot early Thursday in a small Middle Georgia town are being investigated as homicides, according to the GBI.

The toddler and the woman were discovered in the front yard of a home in the Dooly County city of Byromville about 4 a.m., GBI spokesman J.T. Ricketson.

The toddler, identified as Jashun Ingram, was 17 months old, Channel 2 Action News reported.

The woman was 47 years old, according to Ricketson. She was identified as Priscilla Adams, Deputy Coroner Ricky Hudson told WMAZ-TV of Macon.

Adams was the toddler’s caretaker, authorities said. Her son is dating the toddler’s mother.

RELATED: Toddler, 2 adults found shot to death ID’d

More than 4½ hours after the bodies were located, police dogs found a man dead directly across the street from a single gunshot to the torso, authorities said.

He was identified as Willie Merrell, 60, according to Hudson. A rifle was found near Merrell’s body, Ricketson said. 

Ricketson said Friday that Merrell's autopsy has been completed. Asked if the crime scene appeared to be a murder-suicide, Ricketson said it was too early to tell.

However, the deaths are believed to be related, according to investigators.

“There were a lot of problems going on inside this residence,” Ricketson said.

Adams’ 17-year-old daughter, who was wounded, was taken to a Macon hospital in critical condition. She had surgery Thursday and remains in the hospital in critical but stable condition, officials said.

Ricketson said the GBI interviewed the teen Friday.

Byromville, population 500, is in Dooly County, about 130 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

Dooly County had one homicide in all of 2017, WGXA reported.

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