An elderly woman and her middle-aged nephew were found dead in their home in the Upshaw community of Winston County Tuesday morning.
Sheriff Rick Harris confirmed their identities as Maxine Carroll, 80, and Bryan Stephens, 50, shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Harris says the bodies were found around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at a home in the 23,000-block of Winston County Road 41. The sheriff says both of the victims were shot to death.
According to the sheriff, Stephens had lived with Carroll for the past year. Carroll also had another nephew living in her home. He was out of town on business at the time of the shooting.
Carroll was well-known in the community and had been a longtime teacher in the Addison area.
Investigators says Carroll had suffered from health issues and had a caregiver. Her caregiver came by to clean the house Tuesday morning, but when no one answered the door, the caregiver called the Winston County Sheriff's Office.
When deputies arrived for a welfare check, they found the bodies of Carroll and Stephens inside. Carroll was found dead on the kitchen floor and Stephens' body was in another room, Sheriff Harris said.
Sheriff Harris says there was no sign of forced entry and nothing out of place in the home. He doesn't think robbery was a motive.
The sheriff says he believes detectives are close to determining what that motive may be, as well as determining exactly what happened in the home. He says detectives aren't sure if this was a murder-suicide, but it's not being ruled out.
Harris tells FOX6 News he plans to meet with the Winston County District Attorney Wednesday morning.
Sheriff Harris says they should know "by sundown" Wednesday what happened at the home. ABI investigators spoke with suspects Tuesday night and say they believe they're on the right track.
The Upshaw community is an unincorporated area on the Winston/Lawrence county line north of Addison.
Sheriff Harris says this shooting is not related to the deaths of four people found inside a car last week. Those deaths were later determined to be a murder-suicide.
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