GRATIS TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The deaths of two children and their father, Shane Elliott, at a Preble County home is being investigated as a murder-suicide, according to Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson.
Elliott, 40, and his children; Caleb Elliott, 13, and Gracie Elliott,10; were found dead on Monday by deputies. They were in the living room of the house in the 9200 block of Greenbush Road.
All three suffered gunshot wounds, Simpson said.
“(The children’s mother) called for a welfare check and they were found,” the sheriff said Tuesday morning. The mother didn't live at the Greenbush Road residence.
Simpson said the children weren't at school on Monday and Shane Elliott didn't report for work. Deputies forced entry to the house to investigate.
The bodies were taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, where autopsies were expected to be performed Tuesday.
A letter sent by the Preble Shawnee Local School District to families of students said there was “a tragic event.”
One of the Elliot children was a fourth-grader at Preble Shawnee Elementary. The other was a seventh-grader at Preble Shawnee Middle School.
“At this time we do not have any information to share about the situation,” Superintendent Todd Bowling stated in the letter.
Grief counselors were available Tuesday for students in the district.
“This is a very difficult time for everyone,” Bowling said. “However, we will support each other and work together to support our students.”
Joshua Pergram, who lives nearby, stopped by the house Monday evening with his two daughters to place a memorial with teddy bears, sports balls, candles and flowers.
“We brought it out here to get it started because we know how this community is. It is going to affect the whole community. One of the boys was in football so we brought a football,” Pergram said. “We have a good community and school. The teachers are awesome out here. One of the kids said they noticed that some of the teachers were crying. It is going to affect everyone."
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