Students dead in apparent double suicide

By PHILIP A. HOLMES

For The Express

TROUT RUN —  Two Williamsport Area High School students, one male and one female, were found shot to death inside a car, both the victim of  apparent suicide, at Rose Valley Lake in Gamble Township late Tuesday afternoon, according to investigators.

“Every indication appears at this point that these deaths were self-inflicted,” Jerold Ross, the county’s chief deputy county coroner, said Tuesday.

“This is a horrible, horrible tragedy,” he added.

Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr. stressed the investigation into the deaths was ongoing. Echoing Ross’ sentiments, Kiessling called the deaths “a terrible tragedy.”

Investigators did not know why the two — both in their mid-teens —  chose to end their lives.

Area police and family members had been looking for the two after they did not show up for school, according to investigators.

Paramedics, Trout Run firefighters and state police rushed to the north access to the lake, just off Lake Road, for a report of two shooting victims about 4 p.m. A relative found the two.

Both teens already had died when emergency responders reached the scene.

Kiessling said the names of the two will not be released because they both were juveniles and the deaths were believed to be suicides.

Volunteer firefighters and fire police cordoned off the access road so that state troopers would not be disturbed as they processed the scene.

Both bodies were taken to the Forensic Center at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

The Williamsport Area School District released a statement today.

“We are shocked and saddened by these students’ deaths. We extend our condolences to their families during this very difficult time,” said Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers. “We have a team of grief counselors available on-site for our students, faculty and staff.”

Extra support was deployed to the high school to provide any additional assistance the school may need, according to the school district.

The district also did not allow media on campus yesterday and further requested respect for the privacy of the family and student body.

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