Police name suspect in Waynesville murders

Four people were found murdered in a Waynesville home May 11.
Published: .
Updated: .

The suspect in a quadruple homicide in Waynesville last month is behind bars.

Bartholomew County Sheriff Mark Gorbett told Eyewitness News 55-year-old Sam Sallee was arrested at a Columbus home May 13, two days after four people were murdered in a home in Waynesville.

"Initially had a couple of suspects. Now we have a sole suspect," Gorbett said.

Fifty-three-year-old Katherine Burton, 39-year-old Thomas Smith, 41-year-old Aaron Cross and 41-year-old Shawn Burton were discovered by Katheryn Burton's son, Daniel, on May 11. The Bartholomew County coroner confirmed that all of the victims had at least one gunshot wound to the head, and all were shot multiple times.

Katherine Burton was reportedly stabbed several times.

Before he left for work the night of the murders, Daniel Burton told investigators "someone named Sam was at the house with everyone." When he came home from work, he found the bodies, but Sallee was not at the home.

Sallee has been held at the Brown County Jail since his arrest.

"The public is not in danger. We knew that early on. The community threat was behind bars early on and we continued out investigation," Gorbett said. "He was not a threat to the community, so the family asked us to be slow and methodical. We took our time."

While the prosecutor's office has not filed charges due to an ongoing investigation, Sallee is not leaving jail anytime soon.

"At this point, Sam Sallee is the only person responsible for those murders," Gorbett said.

Investigators told Eyewitness News in the days following the murders they weren't exactly sure what happened inside the home before the shooting, but say what they found inside is a clear indication it wasn't a random crime.

"We are considering these deaths drug-related. We found the following items at the crime scene: meth, spent shell casings and a knife used in one of the homicides," Gorbett said May 14.