GBI investigating murder-suicide in Sparta

GBI investigating possible murder-suicide

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the deaths of two people in Sparta as a murder-suicide, according to GBI Special Agent in Charge Joe Wooten.

He says one of the victims’ family members found the bodies at a home on Pine Drive in Sparta shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday and the GBI was called to assist around noon.

The victims were identified as Harold Jones, 40, and Barbara Ann Lewis, 49.

Wooten says the two were living together, however their relationship is unknown at this time.

The GBI processed the scene and conducted interviews into the evening, and it is currently being investigated as a possible murder-suicide.

Michelle Strother, Barbara Lewis's sister, recalls the last conversation that she had with her

"The last words my sister said to me was---that I will never ever hear from her again-- Is sister I love you, and I was able to say I love you too," said Strother. 

Michelle Strother says this sudden death leaves the the family with questions.

"She's a chain missed in our link and this is my oldest sister," said Strother. "I never experienced any thing like this. I've been going through all of the emotions and I'm angry."

Strother's nephew, Leonard Heath, says he walked inside his mother's home on Pine Drive in Sparta Saturday Morning and found her body. 

"I found her. It was unbelievable... it felt like a dream, but I knew it was real. God will give me the power to get through it," said Heath. 

Barbara Lewis was the oldest of five siblings and had four children.

"She's the cook of the family. She's the one that can push buttons and get away with it," said Strother. 

On Sunday they gathered at the house, shared memories of their loved one, and leaned on each other for support.

"It's something that all of us will have to endure and we're going to overcome it because we have Christ," said Strother.

She says that you never know when the last conversation will be with the ones you love, so love them while they are still here.

"Through his grace and mercy-- that I will and shall see my big sister again," said Strother.

Wooten says it is an uncommon occurrence in the 11 counties his office oversees and that the investigation is ongoing.

Their bodies will be sent to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy this week to determine the cause of death.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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