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On Eve of Funeral, Ball Ground Learns 3 Were Murder-Suicide Victims

The service for the Norrell family is scheduled for Saturday.

As relatives received visitors today, authorities identified the three bodies pulled from the rubble of a Ball Ground home leveled by a fire last month, and announced all were victims of a murder-suicide.

"Facts and circumstances of the deaths lead investigators to conclude that Ricky Norrell shot his wife Darlene and daughter Lindsey before taking his own life," Lt. Jay Baker, the spokesman for the , said this afternoon in a press release.

The medical examiner at the GBI crime lab found that 46-year-old Darlene and 19-year-old Lindsey Norrell were shot in the head, the victims of homicide. The death of 49-year-old Ricky Norrell was listed as a suicide. 

"Ricky Norrell’s body was mostly consumed in the fire," Baker said. "However, the remains of a .22 caliber rifle were found near his body. In addition, the Medical Examiner’s findings were consistent with Ricky Norrell dying from a head wound—believed to be a gunshot wound."

Just before 4 a.m. July 18, neighbors called 911 after hearing what sounded like an explosion at the family's Spriggs Trail home,  spokesman Tim Cavender said on the day of the fire. When Lt. Wesley Densmore and other firefighters arrived on the scene, the house was already on the ground.

While authorities said from the beginning that it appeared "likely" that the  were those of Ricky, Darlene and Lindsey Norrell, investigators couldn't confirm that at the time.

They were able to identify Darlene Norrell a week after the fire through dental records. Ricky and Lindsey Norrell were identified through DNA testing, which took additional time.

Investigators with the sheriff’s office and the fire department are still trying to piece together the cause of the fire, which has not been determined.

"At this point," Baker said, "we will be making no further comment on this matter."

The family is receiving visitors today at  in Canton.

Lindsey, a student at , was engaged, according to her obituary on the funeral home's website. Darlene worked at Automation Direct, Ricky at Curtis 1000.

A funeral service for the family is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church with Rev. Terry Cowart and Rev. Troy Milford officiating. Burial will follow at the Ophir Baptist Church Cemetery in Ball Ground.

"Out of respect for their privacy," Baker said, "the families of the victims have requested the media not contact them."

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JustTheFaxMaam August 05, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Jim, I so agree with you. I also think the fire was set to cover up evidence of a triple murder. After all, why would Ricky Norrell set fire to their home knowing that he would be dead and not be held accountable for taking the lives of his wife and daughter and himself? Where was the need to cover any evidnce of this happening?
ma August 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Thoughts and prayers to all..
sw August 06, 2012 at 12:41 PM
obviously the GBI was sure of findings before releasing the report. We dont need to speculate when the family is grieving, it is what it is.
SD August 08, 2012 at 12:37 PM
The GBI and the cherokee county sheriffs department had the evidence that they needed to make this decision. They do not "SUSPET" they KNOW. Obviously all of the evidence has not been released. Please stop making this more difficult for the family and the community by speculating. This was not a triple murder with a fire set to destroy evidence. Please stop!
SD August 08, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I agree with you.

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