WEST YELLOWSTONE — Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer says the bodies of two people were found in a wooded area near highways 191 and 287 early this morning.
Springer says both are homicide suspects from the Billings area.
The sheriff says that about 10:30 pm Thursday night Yellowstone National Park Rangers attempted to make a routine traffic stop of a vehicle on Highway 191. He says the vehicle fled until it neared Duck Creek Road and 191. At that point, the two people inside fled into the woods.
Springer says multiple agencies were called to the scene. He says two gunshots were heard coming from the wooded area. He says it took until about 2:30 am to locate the bodies. He says it is unclear if the incident is a murder-suicide or a double suicide. Springer does not yet know if more than one firearm was found at the scene.
Just after the two fled into the woods a shelter in place warning was issued for West Yellowstone residents. That was lifted about 3:30 am Friday.
Law enforcement authorities in Billings and Gallatin County are investigating a possible link between the deaths of three people, including a Billings woman found dead inside a home.
Billings police said a strange string of events began Thursday afternoon when officers were sent to conduct a welfare check at a residence in the 1000 block of Avenue B at about 1:16 p.m.
Officers found a 64-year-old woman dead inside a residence, Lt. Brandon Wooley said in a press release.
The woman showed suspicious signs of trauma, Wooley said, and during a search of the house investigators developed two persons of interest sought for questioning.
At 4 p.m., Billings police issued a law enforcement "Attempt To Locate" for a vehicle and the two persons of interest.
The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office released the following statement:
On April 15, 2021, at approximately 10:30 PM, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office was called as part of a multi-agency response in the West Yellowstone area for a vehicle pursuit. The suspect vehicle was wanted in connection with a homicide out of Billings.
|The two suspects exited their vehicle and fled on foot into the Duck Creek area near the intersection of Highway 287 and Highway 191. Several law enforcement agencies, including the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the National Park Service, West Yellowstone Police Department, U.S. Forest Service, Fish Wildlife and Parks Game Wardens, Montana Highway Patrol, and the Bozeman Police Department (as part of the joint Special Response Team) worked together to secure a perimeter. A shelter in place order was communicated to the residents near this location.|
|Law enforcement heard two gunshots shortly after the suspects had entered the wooded area. Ultimately, the suspects were located deceased near Duck Creek. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s / Coroner’s Office will continue investigating the incident. The shelter in place request was lifted early this morning.|
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is available.