Two dead in murder-suicide Son, 9, finds his parents' bodies in their Athens home

An Athens couple died Friday evening in what police believe was a murder-suicide.

The couple's 9-year-old son discovered his parents' bodies in a room of their home at 130 Chardonay St. between Nowhere Road and Freeman Drive about 6 p.m. and called 911, said Capt. Clarence Holeman, commanding officer of Centralized Criminal Investigations for the Athens-Clarke Police Department.

Police did not release the couple's names, the way they died or other details Friday night.

"I'd rather not, until the family has a chance to digest what's going on," Holeman said.

Many family members live in the Athens area, he said.

The couple's bodies were taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for autopsies, according to Holeman.

It was unclear where the child was at the time, but Holeman said he had been at home with his parents because Friday was a holiday for students in the Clarke County School District.

It marked the third time this year in Athens where two or more people died in the same crime.

On April 25, University of Georgia marketing professor George Zinkhan III shot and killed his wife, Marie Bruce, 47; Thomas Tanner, 40; and Ben Teague, 63, who tried to intervene, outside the Town and Gown Theatre on Grady Avenue.

Zinkhan, 57, disappeared, but five days later police found his abandoned sport utility vehicle in a ravine in a large wooded area in western Clarke County.

Police searched the vicinity, but it wasn't until May 9, 2009. that a cadaver dog led officers to a shallow grave Zinkhan had dug before committing suicide.

Four months earlier, on Jan. 28, police said John David Latimer shot and killed his two sisters and his brother in their trailer at Hallmark Mobile Home Park in Eastern Clarke County.

Latimer, 52, pleaded not guilty to 13 felonies in the deaths of Janice Carol Patterson, 57; Sara Kathleen Tatum, 61; and Thomas Garland Latimer, 50.

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