CARROLL - The deaths of a man and woman whose bodies were discovered Wednesday morning in the town of Carroll are being ruled as homicides.
"We're still processing everything at this time, but I can confirm that these were homicides," Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace told the OBSERVER.
"We won't be able to release any names until an autopsy comes back," he continued.
OBSERVER?Photo by Eric Tichy
Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley, left, with John Zuroski, assistant district attorney, and Sheriff Joe Gerace are shown in the town of Carroll on Wednesday after two bodies were discovered in a residence. Gerace labeled the deaths as homicides.
Frewsburg firefighters were dispatched around 9:30 a.m. to Wheeler Hill Road for a report of a fire. It's unclear who reported the blaze, but first responders discovered two bodies in the residence and contacted the Sheriff's Office.
David Foley, Chautauqua County district attorney, said a warrant was obtained to search the residence. The bodies were removed and taken to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo by county Corner John Sixbey for an autopsy. No autopsy has been scheduled at this time.
The scene Wednesday on Wheeler Hill Road was chaotic. By noon, the road was closed to traffic. The county's mobile command truck and fire investigation team were present, as well as a dozen sheriff's and local police vehicles.
By 2 p.m., the county's forensic investigation team arrived.
Relatives who live in the area also were present, but all declined comment.
Earlier Wednesday, police throughout the county were on the lookout for a tan-colored vehicle. Asked of a possible connection between the vehicle and the case, Foley said, "At this time we cannot comment on that."
Sheriff's deputies were visible during dismissal at Frewsburg Central School, where afternoon activities were canceled. Superintendent Danielle O'Connor said parents were notified of the Wheeler Hill Road incident through the school's Global Connect system.
The school is less than 5 miles from the residence.
"Our goal was to ensure the safety of our students," O'Connor said. "This was a precautionary measure."
Students who walk home were required to be picked up by parents; sheriff's deputies also escorted some students home.
O'Connor said dismissal went smoothly. "I think everything went very well," she said, later adding, "No child was ever in danger."