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Suspect Named In Waynesville Quadruple Murders

Samuel E. Sallee is being held at the Brown County Jail.

Samuel E. Sallee

Photo: Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department

Columbus resident Samuel E. Sallee, 55, has been identified as the "prime and only suspect" in the investigation of the murders of four individuals in Waynesville on May 11.

A sole suspect has been identified in the case of four people who were found dead last month in a Waynesville home.

Columbus resident Samuel E. Sallee, 55, is the investigation’s “prime and only suspect at this time,” according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s office.

Sallee has been behind bars since May 13, two days after the killings.

On May 11, Kathy Burton, 53, was found shot and stabbed. The other three victims, Thomas Smith, 39, Aaron Cross, 41, and Shawn Burton, 40, died of gunshot wounds to the head, as well as multiple shots to other parts of the body.

Law enforcement agents originally identified Sallee as one of two “persons of interest.” He was taken into custody by Bartholomew County Detectives on a Brown County warrant for failure to appear at a court proceeding.

“The families of the victims asked us to be patient and diligent in determining who murdered their family members and we are honoring that,” Sheriff Mark Gorbettt said in a statement released Tuesday.

Gorbett previously confirmed the home where the victims were found was a haven for drugs, and investigators have expressed their belief that the killings are drug-related. Law enforcement discovered methamphetamine at the scene, in addition to shell casings and a knife used in at least one death.

Toxicology and ballistics tests have yet to be released.

Federal officials have also indicted Salle on illegal possession of a firearm.

The U.S. Attorney‘s indictment alleges the convicted felon was in possession of a .22 caliber rifle. His criminal history includes intimidation, driving while intoxicated and drug charges, and Indiana law forbids convicted felons from possessing firearms.

The indictment alleges federal and local authorities found Sallee in possession of the rifle on May 14.  If convicted of illegal possession, he faces up to ten years in federal prison.

Sallee is currently being held at the Brown County Jail.

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