Dad killed wife, daughter and himself in Ball Ground home destroyed by fire (U.S.)

Posted on August 3, 2012

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Three family members found dead after a house fire in Ball Ground last month were killed in a murder-suicide, officials said Friday. But investigators said they don’t know what prompted the deadly shooting.

And they have yet to determine what caused the blaze that destroyed the family’s home at 818 Spriggs Trail.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations have confirmed the bodies found after the July 18 fire belonged to Mr. Ricky Norrell, 49, his wife Mrs. Darlene Norrell, 46, and their 19-year-old daughter, Lindsey, officials said.

Medical examiners also discovered that Mrs. Norrell and her daughter were murdered.

“Both had gunshot wounds to the head,” the Cherokee County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jay Baker said. “Ricky’s cause of death has been listed as a suicide.”

Mr. Norrell’s body was mostly consumed in the fire, however investigators found the remains of a .22 caliber rifle near his body, Lt. Baker said.

“In addition, the Medical Examiner’s findings were consistent with Ricky Norrell dying from a head wound – believed to be a gunshot wound,” Lt. Baker said.

“Facts and circumstances of the deaths lead investigators to conclude that Ricky Norrell shot his wife Darlene and daughter Lindsey before taking his own life.”

It is still unclear what sparked the blaze and how long it had been burning before someone called 911 at 3:35 a.m. that Wednesday, Lt. Baker said.

By the time firefighters arrived minutes later, it was far too late.

“The spilt-level home was fully engulfed and had already collapsed,” Lt. Baker has said.

Later that afternoon, a relative of the family doubled over in tears after seeing what remained of the home in northeastern Cherokee County.

Neighbors told investigators they heard explosions, according to a media report. Two vehicles that had been parked in the garage were also destroyed, the paper reported.

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