LAUREL, Ind. - Five people were found dead Sunday at two homes in rural southeastern Indiana, and authorities warned residents to be careful because it wasn't immediately clear whether there was one or more suspects on the loose.
The multi-agency investigation began after the Franklin County Sheriff's Department responded to a call Sunday afternoon about a child wandering around a roadway in the area, according to a news release from Indiana State Police.
After a deputy spoke with the child and neighbors, he called for backup to search two homes near the town of Laurel, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis. Police found a male's dead body at one residence, and the dead bodies of two males and two females at the other home across the street, authorities said.
The victims weren't identified pending notification of family members and autopsies scheduled for Monday in Indianapolis. Although the state police news release didn't indicate a cause of death, it said it was unknown "if the shooter or shooters could be among the deceased."
Sgt. Jerry Goodin, spokesman for the Indiana State Police, declined to confirm the cause of death or any other information about the victims. He told The Associated Press that it was too early in the investigation to rule out the possibility of one or more suspects on the loose and cautioned residents of the neighborhood to be careful until more is known.
"They should be vigilant," Goodin said. "They need to make sure they keep the doors locked. If they see any suspicious people, absolutely they should dial 911."
Police are asking anyone with information about these murders to call the Indiana State Police at 812-689-5000.
Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates about this incident as they become available.