Saturday, March 12, 2011

Henderson County, TX: Deaths in Henderson County believed to be murder-suicide

Posted: Mar 11, 2011 6:16 PM EST
Updated: Mar 12, 2011 12:05 AM EST

Staff Writer

Within the ashes of a house fire near the community of Leagueville in Henderson County, law enforcement officials learned the truth about the burned bodies of a man and his wife found in the rubble.

The cause of death was not fire or smoke inhalation, but instead gunshot wounds.

Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt said today the forensic examination of evidence and the results of the autopsies proved the deaths stemmed from a murder-suicide, and the fire was set after the female victim had been killed by her husband.

The couple has been tentatively identified as 47-year-old Robbie Timmerman and his 42-year-old wife Cheryl.

Firefighters responded to the scene Wednesday morning shortly before 11 a.m. after a 911 calller reported the house on Farm-to-Market Road 317 was fully engulfed in flames.

Nutt said earlier in the week that once the fire was extinguished, firefighters found the two bodies. Because of circumstances, the area became a crime scene with Henderson County Sheriff's deputies, Texas Rangers, Henderson County District Attorney investigators and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives all investigating the case.

Nutt said it appears that Timmerman shot his wife with a shotgun, then started the fire before sitting down in a closet and shooting himself.

"It was the Timmermans' house and we have the family telling us they haven't seen the Timmermans, so we believe at this time that it is in fact the couple. We are still waiting on some additional testing, but everything points to it being them," he said.

Nutt said he believes positive identification will be made some time next week.

The sheriff added the couple had two small children who are being cared for by an aunt and uncle.

"We believe this investigation to be concluded in that this was a murder-suicide," he said.

Nutt would not say if the couple had been having marital troubles or if law enforcement had ever been to the home.

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