Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies worked throughout the night trying to find out who fatally shot a mother and her two children inside their McCalla home sometime between Friday and Sunday.
Deputies were called to the home at 5928 of Coleman Lake Road just before 7 p.m. Sgt. Jack Self said a relative called them after going to check on a couple who family hadn’t heard from all weekend.
That relative met another relative at the home and got inside the home through a window. Once inside, they found an adult female and two children shot to death.
Authorities have not publicly identified the victims, but family members and neighbors identified them at Doris Jean Hutcheson, 49, Kimberly Hutcheson, 14, and Peyton Hutcheson, 11.
The husband, 47-year-old Steve “Hut” Hutcheson was not at the home, and had not been located as of 12:45 a.m. despite a massive search for him and multiple calls to his cell phone by family members. The family’s silver Dodge Stratus is also missing.Â
“We have no reason to believe there is any immediate danger to the community,” Self stated on social media.
“Please pray for the family and the first responders working this crime scene,” Assistant Sheriff Mike Logan added. “We have no indication there is a suspect loose in the community. If anything is developed we will share that immediately.”
Shelby Barnhill, a niece of the couple, said the family had not been seen or heard from since they were all swimming together Friday at their grandmother’s home. Steve and Doris Hutcheson were supposed to take groceries to Steve Hutcheson’s father Friday night but never showed up.
When no one heard from them the entire weekend, family members went to check on them. Barnhill said one cousin went into the home through a window. She entered through the basement, but never got inside the main living area.
Investigators, she said, made them leave when they found a bullet. All three bodies were in separate rooms of the house. “The house is destroyed,” Barnhill said, ”But they didn’t take anything.”
Neighbor Jimbo Reynolds say his family was out of town for the past week and didn’t notice anything amiss when they returned in Friday.
One of the couples’ family members knocked on Reynold’s door Sunday evening to tell them what happened after a family member had climbed through the window of the home and discovered the bodies inside.
At first relatives thought the bodies were those of the husband and wife, and were frantically looking for the children, but then realized it was the wife and two children. “We are shell shocked,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said they moved here eight years ago and the Hutchesons were already here.”They kept to themselves and didn’t bother anybody,” Reynolds said.
The husband is a maintenance contractor who works with the Shelby County schools. The wife was a stay-at-home mother.
As of midnight, deputies said they were actively searching for Steve Hutcheson but had not yet located him. Family members didn’t have any luck either.
“When we call his phone, it goes straight to voicemail,” Barnhill said.
Barnhill said her cousin Kimberly loved to sing. Peyton, she said, loved to build things with his father. Her aunt – Doris Jean Hutcheson – would do anything for anybody.
“They were sweet. I don’t understand who could have done it and why,” she said. “I don’t think it was my uncle. We’re just puzzled. We don’t know where my uncle is or who would have him.”
“Whoever did it better hope the cops find them before the family does,” she said.
Investigators expected to remain on the scene for much of the night. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 205-325-1450.
Updated at 12:54 a.m. with comments from a family member.