Jeffco Couple Found in Fire May be Murder-suicide

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Jefferson County investigators are trying to determine whether a couple found dead in a Mineral Springs house fire were victims of a murder-suicide.

The family of Joseph and June Yates were told Wednesday that he may have shot his wife of 20 years, set fire to the home he built, and then shot himself to death.

Joseph Yates' daughter, Connie Cox, said she hopes the allegations aren't true.

Police found the bodies after the fire was extinguished. Detectives said the victims appear to have suffered gunshot wounds.

Jefferson County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Randy Christian said a preliminary investigation indicated it was a murder-suicide.

Family members speculated that the deaths may be related to a robbery.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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