Man Sought After Wife, Stepdaughters Found Dead
POSTED: 12:58 pm EST October 31, 2005
UPDATED: 7:22 am EST November 1, 2005
ROCKVILLE, Ind. -- A statewide manhunt is under way for a Rockville-area man after his wife and two stepdaughters were found slain in their home Monday morning.
Authorities named Chad Cottrell, 35, as a suspect in the deaths of Trisha R. Cottrell, 29; Brittany M. Williams, 12; and Victoria L. Williams, 10. Earlier in the day, police said Chad Cottrell was a person of interest in the case.
Sheriff's deputies found the bodies in the house south of Rockville after relatives reported they hadn't seen the home's occupants for a while, RTV6's Norman Cox reported.
Police didn't say how or when the three were killed. Relatives told RTV6 that they were shot. Police said there had been trouble in the home in the past.
A witness reported seeing Chad Cottrell about 11:30 a.m. in a Rockville store, but by late afternoon, police could not say where he was.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Joe Watts said there was no specific information to indicate family members were in danger, but a lockdown of at least seven schools in the area was taken as a safety precaution, as some family members attended some of the schools. And police canceled Halloween trick-or-treating for the area Monday night.
Police say the bodies of a woman and her two daughters were found in a Rockville-area home at about 9 a.m. Monday.
Authorities said Chad Cottrell could be driving a teal, 1993 GMC pickup truck with Indiana license plate 166795A. Police believe the truck does not have a tailgate.
Shaun Ramsey, a man who lives down the road from the Cottrells' home, said he heard three or four gunshots from that area on Thursday. He said he didn't initially think much of the shots because such sounds are common during deer season, but he said he had concerns later when he realized that deer season hasn't started.
Although police didn't say when Trisha Cottrell and her daughters died, they said the time that Ramsey heard the shots probably doesn't fit with their investigation.
Autopsies were being conducted and police expected to release more information Tuesday morning.
Copyright 2005 by TheIndyChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.