HOLBROOK, Idaho — Authorities are investigating a triple homicide at a house located about 20 miles west of Malad near the Utah border where as many 70 pit bulls were being raised for sale and marijuana was being grown in the basement.
A 2-year-old girl and a 2-month-old baby found in the home are safe and with grandparents, according to the Oneida County Sheriff's office, which said the baby was found in the arms of her mother, one of the victims.
The victims were identified as Yavette Chivon Carter, 27, Trent Jon Christensen, 32, and Brent L. Christensen, 61. Their bodies were discovered shot to death inside the house by deputies responding to a report of a homicide about 1 p.m. Friday.
"There is no evidence here at all that this was a murder-suicide," said Oneida County Sheriff Jeff Semrad. "It’s a straight up homicide."
A visitor to the property apparently discovered the victims. The sheriff's office said the deaths occurred between Thursday afternoon and Friday.
Semrad estimated the infant was under her mother's arm for more than 20 hours. "I think the mother grabbed the baby and was protecting the baby," he said.
He said the 2-year-old girl wandered around in the dark because the shooting happened before dark and there were no lights on in the house.
"That's real heartbreaking to think of what they went through," Semrad said.
According to the sheriff's office, the evidence indicates that the killing was not random.
"The suspect, whoever that might be, has a relationship with these people," Semrad said. "Whether it be a dog-fighting issue, or we found 38 marijuana plants in the basement as well, we don’t know. We’re trying to piece that all together."
Investigators also found a dog-fighting ring and treadmills, presumably used to train the dogs. Semrad said there was a dog fight at the house last Saturday.
The office is seeking information from people who attended an Easter party March 31 at the home as well as the drivers of two semi-tractor trucks, one blue and one red, that were there during the past week.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company