Police in Liberty County are investigating a deadly case of domestic violence. Hinesville police found the bodies of a man, his wife and her daughter inside their home last night. Neighbors say that was the last house where they'd expect such violence.
Hinesville resident Sheletta Beverly is still in shock that such horror could happen a few doors from her home. She identified the family as Dwayne and Maxine Hankins and Mrs. Hankins' teenage daughter. "When I came home, it was Hinesville police cars everywhere, the road was blocked and one person came and told me what happened," she said.
Friends and teachers were worried when the woman and her daughter missed days of work and school. Police found doors locked and dead-bolted, and no signs of forced entry. "Near one of the windows, they noticed an odor coming from the residence and decided they should enter to see if everything was okay in the house," said Det. Melvin Kesner with the Hinesville PD.
Police found the family Thursday evening, but they think they've been in the house for days. Neighbor Beverly says the Hankinses had lived in the Stonehenge subdivision since 1996 and the children played with hers. "Maxine, every time you saw her, she was smiling," she said. "She was always smiling and friendly and loving woman."
A handful of roses now sit just behind the crime scene tape. Neighbors hope they can get closer than that to some answers some time soon.
Police say both adults worked in Savannah. They say the husband was a civilian employee of the military and had just returned from overseas in September.
Maj. Thomas Cribbs of the Hinesville police says their theory from the start has been murder-suicide, but they are investigating every possibility to make sure it isn't anything that should cause worry to anyone else.