UPDATE: Police say two people that were found dead in a house fire in Newton County were part of a murder-suicide.
The bodies have been identified as those of Dianne Reno, age 71 and her son, Dustin (Cody) Reno, age 33, both of the home where the incident occurred.
Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler said when firefighters arrived on scene they noticed two vehicles had been parked in a strange manner very near to the house with the gas doors open and both gas caps removed.
When deputies recovered the bodies it was immediately obvious both people and the dog had suffered gunshot wounds to their heads.
Deputies also recovered a .380 caliber handgun and other evidence before the fire became too intense for them safely remain in the house.
Sheriff Wheeler said based on evidence at the scene it appears that Dianne Reno was sleeping on a cot in the living room when Cody Reno placed a pillow over her head and shot her.
Read the full release from the sheriff below.
NEWTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) — The local Sheriff’s office in Newton County responded to multiple calls of a house fire around 2:40 p.m. Friday, October 25, just outside of Jasper on Highway 7.
At least four nearby fire departments responded to the fire.
When crews arrived, they discovered two people dead inside the house, along with a dog that was also in the house.
Deputies say the investigation is still ongoing and the names of the victims have not been released.
The bodies have been sent to the medical examiner’s office in Little Rock for positive identification, according to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.