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Ga. man faces murder charges in death of wife, 4 others

ATLANTA — A Georgia man was arrested on Monday in Mississippi and charged with the murder of his wife and four other people whose bodies were found in a house on Saturday night, police said.

Thomas Jesse Lee, 26, was caught in Tupelo, Mississippi, while he waited to board a bus to Alabama. He will be extradited to Georgia to face charges, said Stewart Smith, spokesman for the Troup County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.

Members of a Mississippi church purchased a bus ticket for Lee after he sought help there. But the parishioners became suspicious after seeing news reports of the murders and their pastor alerted Tupelo police, Smith said.

Investigators have not yet been able to determine a motive in the slayings in a home near LaGrange, Georgia, Smith said.

The victims ranged in age from 16 to 69 and included Lee’s wife, as well as her grandparents and her daughter by another marriage. An unrelated teenager who was living in the home located about 70 miles southwest of Atlanta, was also killed, police said.

Four victims were shot, and authorities were still trying to determine how the fifth person was killed, Smith said.

Deputies went to the home after an employer of one of the victims alerted them that the person had not been to work for a couple of days, Smith said. Deputies entered the house by force and found the bodies inside.

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