RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) - A $5,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible in the double murder of a Russell County couple.
Investigators say they won't rest until they find the person or persons responsible for killing 65-year old William Perry and his live-in girlfriend Deborah Peay then setting their home on fire.
"We are not going to sleep until we have someone in custody," said Sheriff Heath Taylor in Tuesday's chilling news conference.
Sheriff Taylor described how on Sunday, January 6th firefighters responded to a house fire along Silver Run Drive around 9:53 at night. Two bodies, burned beyond recognition, were discovered inside the home. The case quickly transitioned into a murder investigation after the medical examiner determined 65-year old William Perry and his live-in girlfriend 50-year-old Deborah Peay had been shot to death.
"The medical examiner was very confident both of our victims died before their house being lit on fire," said Taylor.
Investigators believe whoever set the house on fire was trying to cover up evidence after shooting the couple. Investigators are reviewing video footage from a nearby gas station just steps from the home. The home is located just down the road from Russell County Middle and the high school.
"It looks like they were pouring some type of accelerant starting in the living room and went throughout the house," said Taylor.
The couples 2001, two-door, silver Honda Accord with Alabama tag 57DB175 was still missing as of Thursday night. Investigators say a possible motive may be robbery, and a few persons of interests have been identified, but no arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, the couple who was renting the home is described as a friendly pair who had no enemies. They had lived in the house for about a year and a half.
"I'm still stunned to know that he's gone. We got along well because we talked almost every day. The rest of the family is just hurting," a relative told News 3, who did not want his face or name used in the report.
If you have any information on the vehicle's location or on this murder investigation, you are asked to please call law enforcement at 334-664-9856. You may remain anonymous if you wish.
"We have a great history in Russell County of not having things like this happen very often, and when we do we work our tails off to solve them," said Taylor.
News 3 will continue to follow this developing story.
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