Coroners in Monroe and Washington County will be busy Tuesday determining the cause of death of a suspect and three victims of a Sunday afternoon Triple Homicide in Washington County. 

Richard Lee Burton Jr.

Bloomington police are saying that a man found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday morning in a Monroe County horse park is believed to be the man suspected of killing three people in a home along Beck’s Mill Road Sunday. 

The body, believed to be that of 47-year-old Richard Lee Burton Jr., was found inside the cab of a truck parked at the Blackwell Horse Camp of the Hoosier National Forest, off East Tower Ridge Road in southeastern Monroe County.

The body was discovered in the Hoosier National Forest at about 8 a.m. this, Indiana State Police said in a news release.

According to ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin, police believe Burton “was responsible for the deaths of all three victims” found inside the home – including a young boy.

“A man that saw the news accounts happened by and thought that vehicle was the one that police were looking for, and called it in,” Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain said. “It was parked at the end of the parking lot, and backed into a space so a (license) plate wouldn’t be seen.”

Two Monroe County sergeants responded to the horse park, just off Ind. 446.

The Bloomington Police Department’s Critical Incident Response Team was contacted, but then quickly told not to come after all.

The Monroe County coroner was dispatched to the scene, instead.

“Initially, it appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the sheriff said.

The deceased man matches the description of Burton, Monroe County Coroner Joani Shields said.

She will release cause and manner of death, and positive identification, after an autopsy Tuesday in Terre Haute.

Indiana State Police released photographs of Burton and of the extended-cab truck he was believed to be driving, a blue 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 4×4 and even provided the license number.

Police first called Burton a person of interest in the triple homicide investigation, and warned the public he was likely armed and dangerous.


The case started Sunday afternoon when Washington County sheriff’s deputies were called to check on the residents at 5882 S. Beck’s Mill Road. Deputies knocked on the door and saw a dead body in the residence. Two other dead bodies were found by police during a search inside.

Burton had been living with the three victims at the Beck’s Mill Road residence, police said.

The identities of the three victims, and information about their causes of death, will be released after the autopsies Tuesday in Salem, said Goodin.