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Tuesday, 07 February 2017 16:21

Okmulgee County Sheriff Comments after Family Murder/Suicide Tragedy in Morris

Morris Okla. – Today around 9:12 a.m. the Okmulgee County Sheriff Office (OCSO) received a telephone call reporting the deaths of several family members. Deputies responded to a home in the 17,000 block of Highway 62 and Morris and discovered the bodies of a man, a woman and two children.

The initial investigation reveals that there appeared to have been a disturbance, which resulted in an apparent triple murder and suicide.

Names of the victims have not been released. OCS reported that the bodies would be released to the medical examiner, who will make the final determination as to the cause of deaths.

This is an active investigation of the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office and the District 25 Violent crime task force. The Sheriff’s office is not seeking any suspects.

Sheriff Eddy Rice commented on how disappointed he was to see the media once again flocking to the scene of a horrible tragedy where family and friends were gathered to console each other.

“Enough is enough, said Sheriff Rice. “this is a trend that is becoming out of hand. There is no longer any type of respect from most media outlets today, the way I knew it years ago.  This has gradually grown to extremism. Today we had to remove journalist and camera crews from around the home. We had family members begging in tears for some relief from being bombarded. I was told today by news reporters that ‘it is their job to inform the public’, but I ask, how far do you need to go? Is what they are doing really worth the sacrifice in the real scheme of things? I especially ask the producers this same question. I am pretty sure the answer I will get, until it happens to their own loved ones.”

Rice said he is implementing plans to put a stop to extreme reporting in his county and hopes that other law enforcement agencies will follow.

“I mean no disrespect to the field of journalism and I have no problem in releasing the public record but I would ask the media to consider these rules with a reporters own basic questions, who – who are you damaging, what – is most important, when – is it a proper time to ask, film, photograph and record, where – can you use tact in gathering information and why – are you going to unnecessary extremes.”

Sheriff Rice said he has always had a good relationship with the media and hopes that things can be turned around and refocused in a positive manner.

"Let's not forget that this is a sad day, it's a difficult day for us at sheriff's office and the people who have been touched by this incident. Again another tragedy has struck our community. Our hearts go out to those affected by this tragedy."