Missing Georgia couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide, police say

A Georgia husband and wife are believed to have died in a murder-suicide after two bodies were found in a burned-out truck on a remote logging road, investigators said Wednesday.

Greene County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said investigators have called off the search for Steven Rhodes and his wife Melissa Meeks Rhodes. The couple was last seen Monday night and believed to be traveling in Steven Rhodes' modified Ford pickup truck.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement Wednesday that a truck fitting the description of Rhodes' vehicle was found shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday at a property in Crawfordville in neighboring Taliaferro County. The GBI said the bodies could not be positively identified due to their condition.

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Taliaferro County Sheriff Marc Richards told WSB-TV that investigators found a shotgun and spent shells at the scene where the truck was located. Richards added that it appeared authorities were dealing with a murder-suicide.

Harrison told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Melissa Rhodes' daughter reported her missing Monday night after she was unable to get in touch with her mother. Deputies and local volunteers launched a search for the couple, which was complicated by bad weather in the area Tuesday morning.

"We were told [Steven] Rhodes had a tendency to take back roads,” Harrison told the paper. "With all the rain we've had, it didn’t make it easy for patrol cars."

The bodies will be taken to the GBI's crime lab in Decatur, where autopsies will determine the cause of death and authorities will make a positive identification. Deputies are continuing to investigate the Rhodes' home in Greene County as well as the property where the truck with the bodies was found.