• Source: Suspect in 5 Troup Co. killings in custody


    TROUP COUNTY, Ga. - UPDATE: A source tells Channel 2 Action News that Thomas Lee has been arrested in Mississippi.

    Watch Channel 2 Action News for updates.


    Troup County deputies are searching for a 26-year-old man in connection with a murder investigation in LaGrange.

    Police say they found five bodies inside a home on Woodstream Trail, in the Water’s Edge subdivision, just after 10 p.m. Saturday.

    Police identified the victims as William Burtron, 69, Sheila Burtron, 68, Christie Lee, 33, Bailey Burtron, 16, and Iiaonna Green, 18.

    Deputies were called to the home for a welfare check because one of the victims hadn't shown up at work for a few days. Neighbors told Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach they had not seen any recent activity at the house.

    I'd say beginning of the week, maybe end of last week. Nothing noticeable. Let's put it that way,” neighbor Jeff Delaney said.

    Once deputies arrived, they had to force their way into the home.

    Police did not find a gun inside the home, but say four of the five victims were shot to death.

    Police say the bodies were found in different rooms in the home.

    Police are now looking for Thomas Jesse Lee, believed to be the husband of Christie Lee. He was originally named a person of interest in the case. At about 4 p.m., sheriff's officials said he was now a suspect in the case. He is wanted on murder charges, sheriff's officials said.

    Investigators think the murders happened last week.

    "He is not here at the home and we understand there may have been a dispute or something between one of the victims here. We have not been able to make contact with him at all,” Sgt. Stewart Smith, with the Troup County Sheriff's Office, said.

    Lee is believed to be driving an olive-green Mazda Tribute with Georgia tag BRN0785.

    “We’re doing any tracks we can on the cell phone, any Internet searches, social media searches for him and kind of coming up with a dead end right now. Definitely if anyone knows anything about him, please call the sheriff’s office or our crimestopper’s number," Smith said.

    Police say there have been no reported domestic disputes involving Lee.

    Really no past history of calls to the house and we really don't know what led up to this,” said Smith.

    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Troup County Sheriff's Office with the investigation.

    Smith said Sunday afternoon that the GBI would be suspending the investigation and securing the crime scene until some time Monday morning. 

    Lee’s father says he's cooperating with investigators.

    The Medical Examiner is scheduled to perform the autopsies Monday.

    If you have any information please contact the Troup County Sheriff’s Office at 706-883-1616.

    Family members of the victims released the following statement on Monday: 

    "All of our families are unbelievably grief stricken, the family of Iiaonna Green, and Sheila, William, Christie , Bailey Burtron continue to be appreciative of the public's  prayers and concerns. We also want to acknowledge the grief that the Lee family are experiencing as well. We ask the for the public not to make assumptions or speculations that could create false information or be hurtful to any of the families, or could hinder the investigation. We also request privacy for our families. A fund has been setup to assist with expenses. If you would like to help you can call 1-866-902-2265, or make check or money order payable to : Burtron-Ortiz Victim/Family Assistance, PO Box 1489, Lagrange , GA 30240"

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