CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Gaffney Police said the grandfather of a man who investigators say killed his father in a Gaffney motel room and then turned the gun on himself was also found dead when investigators went to notify the next of kin.
Police said they began investigating on May 15 when the two men's bodies were found by employees at the Red Roof Inn located along New Painter Drive Friday morning just after 11 a.m.
“Housekeeping employees attempted to enter the room for cleaning and found the night latch in place," said Coroner Dennis Fowler in a news release. "When management gained access to the room, the subjects were found unresponsive. It appears they died within a short time of each other early Thursday afternoon. They checked in on May 9 according to motel records. I have ordered autopsies that will be performed Monday to assist with the investigation."
Fowler later identified the deceased as Timothy Brian Yelton, age 42, and Brandon Gage Yelton, age 25. Both men lived in Chesnee and had been renting the motel room for a week. According to Fowler, the son, Brandon, shot the father, Timothy, around 2 p.m. on Thursday before turning the gun on himself.
Gaffney police said Monday that when investigators attempted to notify next of kin, they also found Howard Lawson Yelton, Timothy's father, deceased.
Gaffney police said Spartanburg County deputies are investigating the elder Yelton's death and have ruled it a homicide.
The Spartanburg County Coroner said Howard Yelton, 69, was found in his home on Ezell Road in Chesnee.
Coroner Rusty Clevenger said an autopsy performed Monday revealed the elder Yelton suffered "gunshot wounds to the head and incised wounds to head and neck."
Spartanburg County deputies said their preliminary investigation suggests that Howard Yelton was killed prior to his son and grandson being found deceased in the hotel room on May 15.
"Our investigation remains active, and a motive for our incident is still undetermined, but we don’t feel there is any threat to the public," said Lt. Kevin Bobo in an email.