By SALLY BARTO
A man angered over a missing wallet murdered three people and shot himself in Jenkins early this morning, authorities say.
Timothy Shelby, 58, of 86 Oak Street in the Lakeside community, fired one shot at his girlfriend Jennifer Walters, 35, of Lexington, who was at his home, said Kentucky State Police Trooper Adam Hall. She was shot one time under her nose.
Shelby then went to an apartment at 11 Ginseng Drive on Brickyard Hill and fired several shots at two people he thought were responsible for taking his wallet. Joshua L. Wyatt, 33, of McRoberts, and Amy L. Ratliff, 31, of Jenkins, were shot and killed before Shelby shot himself in the head.
A source close to the case said drug paraphernalia was found at both homes and drugs, including bath salts, are believed to have been a contributing factor to the shootings.
Police learned of the shootings after a juvenile called 9-1-1 at 1:56 a.m. on Aug. 2 and reported that one body was found at the Ginseng Drive apartment. Upon arrival, police found two additional bodies at the residence.
Letcher County Coroner Marty Baker pronounced Shelby, Wyatt and Ratliff dead at 2:45 a.m. Walters was pronounced dead at 3:58 a.m.
Events leading up to the murders and suicide apparently began late Thursday night.
Jenkins Police Chief Roland Craft said police received a report at approximately 11:30 p.m. Thursday of an incident at Oak Street. Craft did not provide details of the report, but said officers who responded found no signs a crime had been committed.
Approximately two hours later, said Craft, police received the call that a body had been found at the apartment complex.
Craft said one of the murder victims at the Ginseng Drive apartment was killed “execution style” and the other was killed in a bed in the apartment.
Officers then returned to the home at Oak Street and discovered the body of Walters.
The investigation into the shootings is continuing by Kentucky State Police Det. Randy Combs. Jenkins Police Department is assisting.
Chief Craft credited his officers for their response to the incident. He said the officers, particularly, Patrolman Joe Holbrook, “handled themselves in a professional manner.”
Carty Funeral Home in Jenkins has charge of arrangements for Wyatt. Ratliff’s funeral will be handled by Hall and Sons Funeral Home in Pikeville. Arrangements for Walters and Shelby are pending.
All four bodies will be taken to the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for autopsy.
Information for this report was also gathered by Appalachian News-Express reporter/photographer Chris Anderson, who is also a contributor to The Mountain Eagle.