Police have chosen not to disclose the cause of death of a married couple found Thursday morning inside their Lincolnton residence, but reaffirmed late Friday that the case is being treated as a double homicide.
“We don’t want to mess up the integrity of the investigation,” Lincolnton Police Chief Rodney Jordan told the Times-News on Friday evening.
Police said they have ruled out the possibility of a murder-suicide.
Jordan met with State Bureau of Investigation agents on Friday, the same day state officials performed an autopsy on the two victims, Mike and Bonnie Vincent, of 1622 Broome Street in southwestern Lincolnton. Both individuals were in their 50s.
It remains unclear exactly what day the victims were killed, but decomposition was already under way inside the couple’s home on Thursday when officers and SBI agents swarmed the scene wearing air packs to help with ventilation.
The residence showed no signs of forced entry, Jordan said, noting that clutter made it difficult to determine whether there had been a struggle.
While police have not released the name of the person whose Thursday morning 911 call led them to the remains, Justin Hester, who identified himself as a friend of the victims and a former neighborhood resident, told the Times-New that he was the first person to find the bodies sometime Thursday morning. The Lincoln County Communications Center received the call just after 11 a.m.
Hester claimed he entered the residence when he knocked and received no reply, after also getting no reply at the residence on Tuesday when he went to check on the couple.
He described finding Mike hunched over with blood “running down” his back and said Bonnie was lying on the floor and appeared to have an injury to her face, however police have not been willing to either confirm or deny any of these details.
Police said Friday they currently have no leads in the case but are confident they’ll track down a suspect in the near future.
“We’ll get some good leads,” Jordan said. “We just don’t have any concrete ones now. We’re staying optimistic.”