Authorities say the deaths of a four-year-old and 37-year-old who were found in Gasconade County last week, appear to be a murder-suicide.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) said on Monday that the autopsies performed on Bentlee J. Turner, 4, and Monty Jason Barton, 37, show that both died from single gun shot wounds to the head.
“Based upon the result of each autopsy and investigation to date, this is consistent with the homicide of Bentlee J. Turner and self-inflicted gunshot wound of Monty Jason Barton,” the MSHP said in a release on Monday.
The Belle Police Department informed the MSHP on Sept. 16 that four-year-old Turner was missing from Belle. The child had reportedly been with Barton, a family friend, since the morning of Sept. 15.
Authorities later found Barton’s vehicle on Valentine Ford Road near Missouri Route A in Gasconade County. Police found Turner and Barton’s bodies nearby.
The Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office performed both autopsies on Sept. 19 at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia. The MSHP said the investigation into the circumstances of the case will continue.
Investigators with the MSHP’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, Belle Police Department, Osage County Sheriff’s Department and the Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department have been investigating the deaths.