BILLINGS — Law enforcement authorities in both Billings and Gallatin County are investigating a possible link between the deaths of three people, including a Billings woman found dead inside a home.
Billings police said a strange string of events began Thursday afternoon when officers were sent to conduct a welfare check at a residence in the 1000 block of Avenue B at about 1:16 p.m.
Officers found a 64-year-old woman dead inside the residence, Lt. Brandon Wooley said in a news release. The woman showed suspicious signs of trauma, Wooley said, and during a search of the house investigators developed two persons of interest wanted for questioning.
At 4 p.m., Billings police issued a law enforcement "Attempt To Locate" for a vehicle and the two persons of interest. Later Thursday night, the two people were found dead near West Yellowstone in Gallatin County, Wooley said.
Gallatin County Sheriff Dan Springer says the bodies of the two people were found in a wooded area near highways 191 and 287, and that both are homicide suspects from the Billings area.
Sheriff Springer said that at about 10:30 pm on Thursday, Yellowstone National Park rangers attempted to make a routine traffic stop of a vehicle on Highway 191. He says the vehicle sped away until it neared Duck Creek Road and 191. At that point, the two people inside ran into the woods.
Sheriff Springer said several agencies were called to the scene. He says two gunshots were heard coming from the wooded area, and it took until about 2:30 a.m. to find the bodies. He says it is unclear if the incident is a murder-suicide or a double suicide. Springer does not yet know if more than one firearm was found at the scene.
Authorities have not yet released the names of the three people.