FARMERSVILLE, Texas -- Authorities in three states searched Tuesday for two men suspected of killing four people -- two of whom were shot and bludgeoned and one whose throat was cut, apparently with a hatchet.
Investigators believe the killing spree began Monday morning near Gainesville, Texas, where the men slashed a woman's throat and stole her car.
From Gainesville, officers believe, the men drove about 50 miles southeast to Farmersville, killed an elderly man and his son Monday afternoon, then stole the victims' truck and drove 200 miles to Arkansas, where they killed a third man and fled back to Oklahoma with his automobile.
'They're just brutal murders is what they are,' said Hempstead County Sheriff Don Worthy in Hope, Ark. 'And I guess you'd have to say that they're being committed by a couple of kids. Some people ... saw them, and they said they couldn't have been older than 18 or 20.'
The body of the first victim, Deana Andrews Woodard, 23, in her mobile home by her husband when he returned from work about 1 p.m. Monday.
Justice of the Peace Bill Freeman said her throat had been cut, apparently with a bloodied hatchet found near her body. An autopsy was ordered to determine the time and cause of death.
Cooke County Sheriff John Aston said there were no signs of forced entry, 'but it was apparent there had been signs of a struggle in the residence. There was broken glass in the room and a mirror was off the wall.'
Woodard's infant son was at home when his mother was killed but was unharmed.
Sheriff's deputies said the killers took a shotgun and a car belonging to Woodard, who worked for the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville. The car has not been recovered.
The two men also are suspected of killing Cecil Floyd Morrison, 85, and his son Cecil Leonard Morrison, 62, at about noon Monday at their rural farmhouse near Farmersville, northeast of Dallas.
'The medical examiner has given us information that besides both being beaten with a tire iron and wooden club, both were shot,' said Sheriff's Sgt. Anthony Hancock. 'The elder man was shot in the back of the head with a small-gauge shotgun. The younger was shot in the head and chest with a small-caliber pistol.'
Hancock said investigators have 'nothing in terms of motive' for the killings.
The bodies were found late Monday night after their truck was discovered in Lake Millwood near Hope, Ark., located just off Interstate 30 near the Texas line and about 200 miles east of Farmersville.
Investigators believe the suspects walked about three-quarters of a mile from where the truck was found to the home of Kenneth Olden, 34, who was found Tuesday beaten and shot to death, Worthy said.
Olden's car was stolen and found Tuesday in Marietta, Okla., about 250 miles west of the Arkansas town but only 25 miles north of Gainesville, where Woodard was killed.
'They (the killers) passed several houses before they came to his, so apparently they were just looking for a vehicle,' Worthy said.