UPDATE: Lone Tree deaths ruled murder-suicide - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Lone Tree deaths ruled murder-suicide

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LONE TREE (KWWL) - Investigators now say two people found dead in a Lone Tree home this weekend is a murder-suicide.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek says Tina O'Leary and Timothy Mellinger were found dead Saturday at O'Leary's home in Lone Tree.  Pulkrabek says an investigation determined Mellinger strangled O'Leary and then shot and killed himself.

Many residents of the quiet and small community of Lone Tree describe Tina O'Leary and Tim Mellinger as fun-loving and easy-going people. So, many of them were shocked when they heard both were found dead Saturday evening.

People in town say Tina O'Leary lived at 401 S. Center Street with her three children, who were staying with their father when sheriff's deputies discovered the crime scene.

O'Leary's cousin, Veronica Eveland, said she was like a sister to her.

We spoke with several other people who were friends with O'Leary and Mellinger, all of whom declined to go on-camera out of respect for their families.

Gin Spears, owner of Gin's Bar and Grill, told us O'Leary filled in as a bartender there a couple years ago. Spears used to play cards with O'Leary, and says she had a quote, "bubbly personality, and a strong love for her children."

Two women working at Peterson's Insurance also knew O'Leary. One described her as a "very good person, all-around." The other showed us a scented candle she bought from her.

We also heard from a man who was knew both victims. He says O'Leary was a poker dealer at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, just a few miles west of town.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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