Two people were found dead in a fire that swept through an Aledo home on Thursday afternoon. The tragic discovery came after deputies were sent to check on the welfare of residents at 1275 200th Street.
Investigators haven't released victims' names pending autopsy results.
"The autopsies are going to be Friday afternoon," said Mercer County Sheriff Tom Thompson. "Once these are completed, they may answer some questions for us."
Authorities did locate a vehicle they were seeking in connection with the case, but they didn't say what the link to a White 2008 Ford Fusion with Illinois plates L788586 may be.
There's shock and sadness in the rural Aledo neighborhood. Investigators were back at the scene of the deadly fire. They're trying to find out why two people died, and how it happened.
Sheriff Thompson said that investigators were familiar with the residents but declined to elaborate.
"We have to do a full investigation just to try and determine what happened," he said.
Smoke could be seen for miles late Thursday. There was also a possible explosion before deputies arrived at the scene.
More than three dozen firefighters from Aledo and surrounding areas battled flames and heat. Although conditions were tough on firefighters, they escaped injury.
"The difficulty on this fire was the metal roof," said Aledo Fire Chief Dennis LItwiler. "It was just very difficult to get to the fire."
Remnants of the house serve as painful reminders. Twisted metal and charred wood are about all that's left.
"There was enough structural damage we weren't able to put people inside the structure, which would have made it much easier to extinguish," Litwiler said. "We had to do all our work from the outside."
The home's front looks like it was ripped off. There's a mattress and other belongings hanging out of the space.
"It's kind of wait-and-see," Sheriff Thompson concluded.
They're waiting for clues that could reveal a lot more about this tragic case in rural Mercer County.