GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation into the death of two men who were found inside a burned car earlier this year in Racoon Township, Gallia County.
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning announced earlier this week that the investigation into the death of Terrell A. Hurt, 21, of Point Pleasant, W.Va., and Tyler D. Pearson, 20, of Gallipolis, is still ongoing and investigators are seeking the public’s help in this case.
“We have been coordinating with BCI and our major crimes task force to try to get to the bottom of what happened and how it may have came about that they died in the car and the car was on fire. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is also investigating,” Browning said. “We have not come to anything conclusive. We’re still investigating it, and if anyone would have information, they should contact us.”
An investigation into this case began after firefighters with the Rio Grande Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the scene of a vehicle fire at approximately 3:30 p.m. March 13. The vehicle was located on Garners Ford Road just outside of the village of Rio Grande in Raccoon Township and the fire was quickly extinguished by firefighters.
Deputies with the sheriff’s office were subsequently dispatched and later contacted Gallia County Coroner Dr. Daniel Whiteley, as well as agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) and officials with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office, to investigate the fire. Investigators were on scene until approximately 10 p.m. that evening.
A week passed before the identity of the two people found inside the burned car were released by officials because no positive identification of the bodies could be obtained.
Browning said that, while interviews were conducted following the vehicle fire, there may be other individuals who have information in relation to this case that are urged to come forward.
“Both of these guys had drug addiction issues, and we know through the investigation that we’ve done thus far they were involved in that activity and that makes it a little bit tougher when you’re investigating these cases. It’s harder to get someone to come forward,” Browning said. “We feel like we know that they had talked with other people earlier that day. We’ve done interviews with those people and we feel like there’s someone out there that knows more information that could help us try to put together what was going on at that scene and in the car.”
Browning also said that, despite prevalent rumors at the time of the fire, no evidence inside the vehicle suggests the two men who shot, stabbed or otherwise harmed prior to the fire.
“There’s no sign of struggle inside the vehicle, nothing that would indicate that they were restrained, no gunshots or stabs, anything like that,” Browning said.
Additional details surrounding the autopsies of the two men are being withheld at this time pending further investigation. More information about the case will be released as it is made available by investigators.
Any individual who may have information about this case is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office anonymous tip-line at (740) 446-6555.