- Clay Community Schools remain locked down today -- no one may enter or leave buildings without proper I.D.
ROCKVILLE, Ind. -- Clay Community Schools, remain on lockdown today following a triple murder in Parke County Monday morning, Superintendent William Schad said. Lockdown means students may not leave the building except in the company of an adult with acceptable I.D. Adults are not allowed to enter the building without I.D. Southwest Parke County schools and Rockville schools are open today, but are also locked down, WTHI-TV reported this morning.
A woman and her two daughters were found dead in their home near Rockville, and police began a statewide search for her husband for questioning.
Parke County police identified the victims as Trisha Cottrell, 29; Brittany Williams, 12; and Victoria Williams, 10.
Investigators said they wanted to question Chad Cottrell, 35, the girls' stepfather. A witness reported seeing him in a Rockville store about 11:30 a.m., about three hours after the slayings were discovered, but by late afternoon, police could not say where he was.
"I don't know whether there had been a tumultuous past or problems (between the couple)," said Sgt. Joe Watts of the Indiana State Police.
Yellow police tape cordoned off the family's one-story brick home southeast of Rockville. Farm fields and pastures surround the home, which is set back from the road by a long driveway. The nearest neighbor lives about a quarter of a mile away.
Grandparents of the girls discovered the bodies in the city 60 miles west of Indianapolis after 8:30 a.m. Monday, Watts said. Authorities did not say when the slayings occurred or how the victims died.
Watts said there was no specific information to indicate family members were in danger, but a lockdown of at least seven schools in the area was taken as a safety precaution, as some family members attended some of the schools. And police canceled Halloween trick-or-treating for the area Monday night.
Family members waiting at the offices of the Parke County Sheriff's Department in Rockville declined to comment to reporters.
A press conference is scheduled in Rockville at 10 a.m. today. Watch www.thebraziltimes.com for a full report this afternoon and see Wednesday's edition of The Brazil Times.
The Brazil Times staff contributed to this report.
Man sought after wife, stepdaughters found dead near Rockville
THE MURDERS: A woman and her two daughters were found dead Monday in their home near Rockville, about 60 miles west of Indianapolis. Police say the victims are Trisha Cottrell, 29; Brittany Williams, 12; and Victoria Williams, 10.
THE SEARCH: Police are searching statewide for 35-year-old Chad Cottrell, the girls' stepfather.
PRECAUTIONS: A lockdown of at least seven schools in the area was taken as a safety precaution, and police canceled Halloween trick-or-treating for the area Monday night.