PICKETT COUNTY, Tenn. – A father and son were murdered inside a business in Pickett County near the Tennessee-Kentucky state line.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded to the Sugar Shack on N. York Highway in Byrdstown after the bodies were discovered Thursday morning.
Officials believe the father and son were killed between 11 p.m. and midnight Wednesday, when they would have closing up the business. Family members called 911 around 6 a.m. Thursday when they found the bodies.
Their identities and possible cause of death have not yet been released, but family members said the father had owned the store for more than 30 years.
Pickett County Sheriff Dana Dowdy is a relative of the two victims, and said he never thought he would have to solve the murder of two of his family members.
“They were really loved by the community here. It’s really devastated the family. They’ve asked me to ask everybody to keep them in their prayers,” he said.
Investigators said they were working to review surveillance video taken from inside the store in an effort to piece together a timeline of events.
"Our violent crime response team members are currently collecting evidence here at the scene. We hope that will give us a clearer picture of the timeline and perhaps, more importantly, what exactly transpired here to lead to the deaths of these two individuals," said TBI spokesperson Josh DeVine.
The TBI and local authorities said they were also working with law enforcement in Kentucky to locate possible witnesses or suspects.
Officials said they had not had a murder in Pickett County in almost 12 years.
As of the 2010 census, Pickett County was the smallest populated county in Tennessee, with its county seat in Byrdstown. It is located on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line surrounded by Clay, Overton, and Fentress Counties.
Anyone who might know something about the crime to call (800) TBI-FIND, or (800) 824-3463.