Union Co. deputies call in SBI to assist in triple homicide investigation

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

Loading

UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A triple homicide in a quiet Union County neighborhood has neighbors and family members searching for answers, even as investigators say they don't know how the three people died.

Agents from the State Bureau of Investigation are assisting with forensic analysis inside the house on Landsford Road near Marshville on Sunday morning. Agents said they will use special forensic technology to try and locate new pieces of evidence.

The house belonged to Ronnie Overcash, one of the victims. Neighbors said he lived there with his girlfriend, Crystal Hicks. Hicks’ body was found in a wooded area behind Overcash’s home.

The body of 61-year-old Jerry Marsh was also inside the house. Friends and neighbors said Marsh lived  next door to Overcash, and he employed Overcash to work for him on a nearby chicken farm.

"Jerry is a super person," said Larry Teeter, Marsh's friend. "He was happy-go-lucky, always cheerful. I'd see him down at the restaurants, he always had a smile."

Detectives are not saying how the three died. The bodies of Overcash and Marsh remained inside the house for nearly 12 hours as agents processed the scene for evidence.

"This is still an active crime scene at this time," said Deputy Sheriff Ben Bailey.

The victims' family members spent Saturday afternoon near the house, waiting for any updates from investigators.

Police also interviewed a man who was spotted driving Jerry Marsh's truck. Deputies said he is not a suspect in the deaths. But they did not shed light on how the man got the truck or release his identity.

Neighbors who live near Union County's triple death investigation called it startling. When asked, some described their neighborhood as quiet.  

"It raised the hair on my arms because this is a peaceful area," said Wanda Jenkins. 

She lives next door to the house on Landsford Road near Marshville, where Union County deputies said the bodies of three people were found. A statement issued by the sheriff’s office said the bodies of two men and a woman were found at the residence shortly after 8 a.m. by a neighbor.

An investigation involving three deaths is rare in the county and even more rare in the low-crime area around Marshville, deputies said.

Larry Teeter said he heard about the investigation and came to the crime scene Saturday afternoon to watch.

"It's been peaceful out here ever since I lived here," he said.

Due to the extreme heat, the Red Cross has been assisting investigators all afternoon by providing water and snacks.

Anyone with any information concerning the deaths is asked to contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 704-283-3789, or Union County Crime Stoppers at 704-283-5600.