Bodies exhumed for homicide investigation

DONIPHAN, MO (KAIT)- Ripley County authorities exhumed the bodies of an elderly couple Thursday morning in connection to an ongoing homicide investigation in Doniphan.

Investigators originally believed Lloyd and Irene Piatt died in a house fire last month near the city but after Ed Atkinson and Bonnie Chase were found dead in their burned home, police are not so sure.

The difference in the two incidents is Atkinson had been shot twice. Last Friday police arrested Piatt's nephew, David Youngblood, along with his wife and daughter and Keith Boyles. Now investigators want to know if he the group had something to do with their deaths.

"Naturally, we're looking to exhume the bodies to see if there are any gunshot wounds and to look a little closer into what took place before the fire and in the fire" says Ripley County Sheriff Ron Barnett.

The Piatt's bodies are at the state crime lab awaiting autopsy. The results could be back sometime next week. Stay with Region 8 News as we continue to track this story and bring you the latest developments.

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