An autopsy has revealed that two Utah teenagers have died in a murder-suicide. The boys were discovered in a basement earlier in November, Utah police stated.
The postmortem report in this dreadful case shows Dayton Gessell, age 15, allegedly shot Taylor Wheeler, age 12, one time in the head before he turned the gun on himself.
However, it is not known for sure in the Utah town of South Jordan whether the two deaths were a tragic accident or intentionally done.
A sergeant of the South Jordan police department, Sam Winkler, explained that they just do not know if the shootings were deliberate or inadvertent. Finding out is part of the investigative process.
Both boys were found deceased in a basement of a house on Nov. 15 and there were three handguns around their dead bodies.
The boys were considered friends and were found only a few minutes after gunshots were heard in the tiny suburb of South Jordan. Neither one of the boys resided at the house they were found in.
There were three other young people in the house when the shots went off. Two of them were brothers. They were ages 16, 14, and 14.
Investigators have not been able to determine where the three guns found close to the bodies of Wheeler and Gessell came from. They do not know as of yet who owns them or even if those guns were the ones used in the two shootings. The three guns were apparently reported stolen earlier that day. Police officials said they thought that possibly one of the guns had been used but it was not definite.
The three other teenagers, who were in the home, had all been photographed, fingerprinted and had their DNA taken to compare for samples. The oldest boy has also been given an extensive interview, and all three have been questioned, but none of them were charged with any crime or arrested.
Utah State Police state that the case is very much an active investigation and continues to be ongoing. They are waiting for final medical reports, ballistics reports, a toxicology report and plan on doing even more interviews. They believe the case will become clearer once all the reports are back and have been filed. They said they just are waiting on the final results from the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office, but that no alcohol or drugs were discovered at the scene.
However, a press report that was released from the Medical Examiner has classified the findings as a murder suicide.
Sgt. Winkler said they are still working to determine exactly what happened.
It was an off duty policeman from West Valley, Utah who found the two boys bodies at around 4:25 p.m. He happened to be traveling down the side road when two of the other boys who were also at the residence came out into the street and flagged him down.
A candlelight vigil was held in the boy honor on Sunday night. It had a turnout of over 100 people who wanted to show their support to the families of the Utah teenagers lost to murder-suicide.
By Kimberly Ruble