Police said they are investigating after two bodies were found at a hotel in Bonner Springs Thursday.
The bodies of Lacie Martinez and Michael James Jr., both in their 20s, were found inside one of the rooms by a housekeeper, about noon at the Holiday Inn Express north of Interstate 70 and west of Kansas Route 7.
The couple was from Fayetteville, NC. Lacie Martinez's father, Richard, said the couple was traveling from North Carolina to Seattle with plans to visit James' mother. Richard Martinez said his daughter had been dating James about a year.
Right now, officials said the deaths appear to be the result of murder-suicide. They said they won't know for sure until after autopsies are performed Friday.
Richard Martinez said police believe James shot Lacie Martinez and then shot himself. He said both families were devastated, saying they were good kids who had planned to attend college this fall.
While police aren't saying at this time the exact causes of death, they said a lot of blood was found in the room.
Several hours after the bodies were found, police were still on scene, waiting to get a search warrant, so they could go inside and work to figure out how the couple died. Autopsies could be performed as soon as Friday.
When the employees of the Waffle House restaurant saw police and crime scene tape at the hotel that sits next door, they were immediately concerned.
"It's a nice community and for safety reasons, we don't really know what's going on and we work next door," Lisa Schwemin said.
Police are still trying to piece details of the deaths together. A pickup truck with tags from North Carolina was roped off with crime scene tape in the parking lot.
People who live and work in the area said they are anxious to find out answers to their many questions.
"You don't expect things like this to happen, and whenever something like that happens, you just want to know why and if there was foul play. You want to know what's going on," Jess Walters said.
Lacie Martinez's father said their family had no idea there were any problems in the relationship.
"They were always, I mean, constantly smiling and happy. She was telling her sister and even she was telling me, you know, 'He's so good to me papa. He makes me happy and everything,'" Richard Martinez said.
He said police told him James left a note, but he doesn't know what it said. The families are now in the process of planning their funerals.
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