Tight-knit Houston County community mourns death of Beards

The Beard's Home
The Beard's Home
Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt
Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - (KTRE) - An elderly couple killed in their home stuns a tight-knit Houston County community. Investigators say the shooting deaths of a Latexo couple may be a murder-suicide.  At this point, they won't say who pulled the trigger.

According to the Houston County Sheriff's Office, on Saturday, April 16th at approximately 9:02 PM, deputies were dispatched to a residence in Latexo where Melba Stewart Beard, 71, and Vencie Lee Beard, 74, were found in their home with apparent gunshot wounds.

"It could be a murder/suicide," said Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt.

Melba Stewart Beard was deceased and her husband, Vencie Beard, was transported to an area hospital where he later expired.

A family member called deputies after they discovered the couple inside their home.

"A neighbor called asking them to do a welfare check on them," said Bobbitt.

Neighbors and friends consoled the Beard's family at the home of one of their daughters on Monday.

"I guess it's why. The question is why. Why did this happen," said Jennifer Patton, Family friend.

"No one really knows what happened," said Jannette Moore.

Sergeant Randy Hargrove with the Houston County Sheriff's Office is the lead investigator on this case and is being assisted by the Texas Rangers.  The scene was processed for evidence that night and well into the early hours of the next day.

It is too early to speculate as to how this shooting occurred, but one shotgun and spent rounds were located at the scene.

Mourning together is their plan, until investigators know what happened inside the beard's home.

"People are supporting, texting the family. They're just there, saying whatever we can do, we're here for you," said Patton.

Melba was the Deputy Director of the Crockett Housing Authority.

The bodies of Melba and Vencie Beard were sent to Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office for forensic examination.  The report of their findings will be shared with the Justice Of the Peace, Ronnie Jordan and Investigators handling this case.

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