PARK HILLS (KTVI) - What started as a tragic story of a St. Francois County husband and wife killed in a fire at their home has now taken a disturbing turn.
Investigators say the two were murdered and the case is now being treated as a double homicide.
The burned home on Halter Lane off Highway 32 near Park Hills is now surrounded by crime scene tape and is being guarded by a St. Francois County sheriff’s deputy.
That deputy telling us that more resources from the sheriff’s department should be arriving at the scene later this morning.
Sheriff’s department investigators are not releasing much right now.
But they have confirmed that the deaths of 50 year old Stanley Halter and his wife 46 year old Tammy Halter are being treated as homicides.
Fire crews got the original call for fire at the home about 4:30am yesterday morning.
When they arrived, neighbors told them that the Halter’s may still be in the home.
But there was nothing firefighters could do to get to them- the flames were too intense.
Stanley Halter’s body was found on the back porch; Tammy Halter’s body was found nearby in the kitchen.
Bismarck Fire Chief Steve Dickey told us yesterday that he believed the two were trying to escape but could not.
St François County Coroner Jim Copeland says investigators are not releasing the cause or manner of death at this point.
But Copeland does tell us that authorities believe the deaths happened inside the home that is now charred.
St. Francois County Sheriff Dan bullock is quoted as saying that the autopsies gave investigators reasonable cause to treat the case as a double homicide.
Anyone who has information is asked to call the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department.
The Missouri State Fire Marshal was called in yesterday to help find a cause of the fire.
Chief Dickey tells us so far no cause for the fire has been determined.
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