Sheriff Jimmy Harris reports the deaths of two individuals from the Dogtown community in what appears at this time to be a murder-suicide.
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office personnel were informed of a missing person Monday night at approximately 10:00pm. The circumstance of the report led officers to initiate a search for Felicia Ann Lindsey, 54 of Fort Payne and her nephew Max Ruben Zeller, 22.
DeKalb County officers were able to locate the missing persons vehicle in Cherokee County, Georgia and requested officers there to verify the vehicle and attempt to locate the two missing persons. As officers from the Cherokee County Georgia were searching a mobile home near Canton, Zeller fled to a bedroom and closed the door. As the officers attempted to enter the room, Zeller apparently shot himself with a handgun. Medical personnel transported Zeller to a Hospital in Marietta where he died early Tuesday morning. Zeller was in possession of a pistol, cell phone, and Jeep belonging to Felicia Lindsey. Zellers body was taken to Georgia Department of Forensics for autopsy.
DeKalb County Investigators continued to search for Ms. Lindsey and executed a search warrant on her residence to look for any clues to her whereabouts. Evidence was discovered of a crime scene at the residence and leads were followed which took investigators to the body of Ms. Lindsey. It appears Ms. Lindsey was killed in her home and an attempt was made to hide her body in a crawl space under the residence. Coroner Tom Wilson pronounced Ms. Lindsey dead and transported her body to Alabama Department of Forensics Science in Huntsville.
The autopsy results indicate Ms. Lindsey died from Blunt Force Trauma to the head and her manner of death is classified as a Homicide. Follow-up investigation has revealed evidence which indicates Max Zeller killed his aunt and attempted to clean the scene before fleeing to Georgia in her vehicle. Zeller also took her cell phone and a .22 Cal pistol. It appears Zeller took his own life with the stolen pistol as officers attempted to interview him. This investigation is on-going at this time.
Harris stated “This is a terrible tragedy for everyone concerned. The Lindsey family is well respected in our community and this is just unthinkable. To lose a daughter and a grandson in this manner is just more than you can imagine. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends at this time. Felicia had classmates who work for me and they all told me what a sweet, shy girl she was. She spent most of her life helping and taking care of others. That is what we need to remember.”