• Suspect in 5 Troup Co. killings in custody

    Updated:

    TROUP COUNTY, Ga. - Investigators are on their way to Mississippi to interview a murder suspect who was captured Monday.

    Police were searching for Thomas Lee since first discovering five people killed inside a home in Troup County Saturday.

    Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff credited the media and social media with sharing a photo of Lee, leading to his capture.

    Woodruff said Lee asked a pastor in Mississippi for help buying a bus ticket.

    The pastor did, but after seeing Lee’s photo and connecting the dots, he immediately called police.

    Lee is accused of killing his wife, Christie, her parents, a family member and a friend over the weekend.

    "I've been to a lot of crime scenes and this one will always stand out in my memory," Woodruff said.

    Police say they found the 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 say they were called to the home for a welfare check because one of the victims hadn't shown up at work for a few days. 

    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.

    After discovering their bodies, police immediately began a search for Lee, who was married to Christie Lee.

    Investigators believe the murders happened sometime last week.

    Woodruff said Lee did not have a gun on him when he was arrested.

    "Why he did it is the big question and that's what we're wanting to know and that's what the family wants to know is why," Woodruff said. 

    On Monday, family members of the victims released the following statement:

    "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 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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