Marion County authorities investigating apparent murder-suicide in South Pittsburg, Tennessee

Toddler, infant found alive at the scene

Two people are dead in an apparent murder-suicide in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, on Tuesday at a home where authorities found a toddler and infant left alone but alive.

"It was a murder-suicide from the preliminary investigation," Marion County Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said Tuesday by phone. "It was in South Pittsburg in the Richard City community."

(READ MORE: First-degree murder indictment issued in South Pittsburg coffee shop slaying)

Burnett said his office, along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, is assisting South Pittsburg police and a District Attorney's Office investigator. Authorities were notified of the discovery around 6 a.m. CST Tuesday, according to dispatchers.

A family member found the man and woman, South Pittsburg Police Chief Wayne Jordan said Tuesday in a phone interview.

"He shot her and then shot himself," Jordan said. "That's what we're looking at right now. We're still investigating."

(READ MORE: Grundy County Sheriff's Office investigating possible murder-suicide in Tracy City)

The family member who found the pair dead is cooperating with investigators, he said.

"We haven't run into any brick walls or closed doors yet," Jordan said, adding there was no threat to the public. "Seems like the two of them were just arguing throughout the night."

Jordan said the two bodies have been sent to Nashville for autopsy, and he's requesting tests to help decipher what happened.

The weapon used was a pistol, he said.

Meanwhile, the toddler and infant were unharmed, and authorities are working out arrangements for the children, Jordan said. The identities of the deceased pair will be released after next of kin have been notified, he said.

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569.