By Michael R. Moser
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's mobile crime lab is on the scene of a multiple-death crime scene on the side of Renegade Mountain at press time.
Little is known about what has happened other than four bodies were found inside a vehicle on a side road off Renegade Parkway shortly before 7 a.m., according to Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess.
Burgess added that all the victims were believed to be from Cumberland County despite them not being positively identified at press time. It is believed all four died from gunshot wounds and that their bodies had not been at the scene for more than 12 hours when discovered.
A man and woman on their way to work noticed a car parked on the gravel road leading to Eagle Nest subdivision and thought it odd, so they stopped to check on it. The man walked up to the vehicle, spotted four bodies inside and notified 911 of the discovery.
Cumberland County deputies responded to the call, confirmed the find and sealed off the area. As word spread through the Crab Orchard community, residents who suspected their family members might be victims inside the car rushed to the scene and anxiously awaited confirmation on the dead persons' identities.
The TBI was contacted and the mobile crime lab requested because of the number of victims involved.
Shortly before 11 a.m., the crime lab van arrived on the scene, which is about one-fourth of the distance to the top of Renegade, off Hwy. 70 E and east of Crab Orchard.
Sources have told the Chronicle that at least two of the four were around 17 years of age, with the oldest being in his early 20s. One woman is believed to be among the victims.
Registration on the vehicle has led investigators to leads as to the identities of the four. Investigators were waiting for the arrival of the crime lab van before moving the bodies and checking for identification, Chief Sheriff's Investigator Casey Cox said.
At press time, investigators were interviewing persons believed to be related to those found in the vehicle, and were seeking leads as to a suspect and motive in the deaths.