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Bodies of husband, wife found burned inside 18-wheeler, sheriff says

Jackson WLBT logo Jackson WLBT 11/3/2020 Sharie Nicole
a dirt path in a forest: The wreckage where the bodies were found. © Provided by Jackson WLBT The wreckage where the bodies were found.

CHURCH HILL, Miss. (WLBT) - Jefferson County Deputies are investigating the death of a husband and wife, found badly burned inside a semi-trailer truck in Church Hill Sunday morning.

Sheriff James Bailey says the couple is believed to be 45-year-old Ronald Merritt and 42-year-old Carisa Merritt. Their identities will be confirmed at the state crime lab.

Bailey said a man was going hunting Sunday morning when he noticed an 18-wheeler parked on his property where he was headed to hunt.

The sheriff said the man honked his horn and the 18-wheeler moved further down the road.

Officials say the hunter heard gunshots and an explosion around 7 a.m.

The hunter reportedly called 9-1-1 after he returned to the property and saw the truck on fire.

Deputies recovered the bodies of the couple and believe this is a murder-suicide, but they’re still investigating.

Investigators say Ronald Merritt had recently leased the 18-wheeler and his family was familiar with the area the crime took place.

Both the husband and wife left their cell phones at home in Fayette, where they lived, according to officials.

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