• Investigators treating deaths of elderly couple found in home as double homicide

    By: Tony Thomas

    Updated:

    BARROW COUNTY, Ga. - The Barrow County Sheriff's Office is searching for a car that may be tied to the death of a Barrow County couple. Deputies have ruled the deaths a double homicide.

    Channel 2 Action News broke the news of the deaths Monday, when the victims' grandson found their bodies inside a home on South Ridge Road.

    Authorities identified the couple as Willard Ron Hess, 70, and Dorothy E. Hess, 72.

    The victims have both been taken to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy.

    The Sheriff's Office released a picture of a car "of interest" in the case Tuesday morning.


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    Channel 2's Tony Thomas spoke Tuesday with the Barrow County sheriff, who said he believes someone killed the couple and that it could have happened as early as last week.

    Deputies said the last time anyone spoke to or saw the couple was late Thursday or early Friday.  

    "It's tough to piece together, but we feel confident," Sheriff Jud Smith said. "We want to know who was driving that car."

    Investigators said surveillance video shows a car that was at the home of the couple at least twice in recent days.

    It's hard to tell, but investigators believe the car could be a late model Hyundai.

    Neighbors Thomas spoke with described the couple as great neighbors who helped anyone out.

    The couple’s daughter and her family live across the street from the Hess’ home. Investigators said the daughter’s house is no longer believed to be part of any crime scene. 

    “It's very rare that you get cars coming down through here,” neighbor Jessica Spurlock said.

    Southridge Road is a quarter mile stretch that ends in the Hess' cul de sac. That's why neighbors are so alarmed about a stranger potentially harming the couple without anyone noticing. 

    “Did somebody take their time to come through and look for something? Were they looking for something?” Spurlock said.

    Anyone with additional information about the homicides is urged to contact police.

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