A phone call from out of state alerted police to the fact that three residents of the Beck’s Mill area might be in danger, according to the Indiana State Police.
Police searched for 47-year old Richard Lee Burton, Jr. throughout the night. His body was found in the cab of his 1994 Dodge Ram truck near a horse park in Monroe County this morning just after 8a.
“What we know through our investigation is that Salem Police Department received a phone call on Sunday from a person out of state who had been in contact with Richard Lee Burton Jr.” said ISP Sgt. Jerry Goodin this afternoon after a press conference in Sellersburg.
“After they had spoken to [Burton], they were concerned for the welfare of the people who were living there at Beck’s Mill,” said Goodin.”
Goodin said the three people were last seen around 8p on Saturday, June 3 and that Burton had been residing in the residence with them.
“Through the investigation we have learned that the three people were inside along with Burton and living at the residence together,” said Goodin. “We’re not sure the relationship. However, that’s something our detectives are looking at. They are trying to find out exactly why Richard Lee Burton Jr. did what he did. There is absolutely no excuse for what happened. But our investigators are trying to find that out.”
The Salem Police Department contacted the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, who performed a welfare check at 5882 South Beck’s Mill Road at approximately 4:30p Sunday.
When a deputy arrived at the residence and upon knocking on the door he noticed a deceased person inside of the residence.
Other police officers arrived at the scene and a search of the residence was completed with officers locating two other bodies inside of the home.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department requested the assistance of Indiana State Police Detectives and Indiana State Police Crime Scene Investigators who have assumed the investigation, who secured the scene overnight and finally left around noon today.
Washington County Coroner Peg Schell will be performing an autopsy on the three bodies – one believed to be a young boy – Tuesday morning.
The identities and cause of death will be released then.
The Monroe County Coroner’s office will be releasing a positive identification and cause of death on Burton, said Goodin.
“We have all indications to believe that it is him,” said Goodin, although police have not made a positive ID on the body found this morning.
Sgt. Goodin said police also believe Burton acted along in the killings.
“Because of the information we received through the course of our investigation, we’re pretty certain that Burton was responsible [alone] for the killings of the three residents on Beck’s Mill Road,” said Goodin. “However, if we get information that leads us in another way or that there is another person involved, we will pursue that.”