by Kate Shunney
The results of an autopsy report from the State Medical Examiner’s office support the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department findings earlier this year that a father and son found dead in a burned house last November had been shot prior to the blaze, according to a June 21 press release by Sheriff K.C. Bohrer
The Sheriff’s Department had labeled the deaths of Carroll T. Brooks, 71, and Carl M. Brooks, 33, as homicides following an investigation into a November 25, 2017 house fire on New Hope Road. Their burned bodies were found after the fire was extinguished. The body of Patricia Ann Brooks, 53, was located by firefighters in a vehicle parked in the yard of the family’s home. She died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to Sheriff Bohrer, Chief Medical Examiner Allen Mock determined Carroll Brooks died of a gunshot wound to the back and Carl Brooks died due to a gunshot wound to the chest. Mock’s findings showed the wounds were consistent with a revolver-type handgun.
An investigation by the Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia Fire Marshall’s Office had already concluded that Patricia Brooks had killed her husband and son, probably earlier in the week, then set fire to the family’s residence in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 25. Fire investigations showed the fire began with a gasoline accelerant.
Further investigation revealed Patricia Brooks had written a 40-page letter about personal troubles and complaints about her marriage and family, and mailed it to herself in the week before the fire. Police recovered the letter and also discovered she had contacted the Social Security Administration four days before the house fire to tell the agency to stop sending Social Security checks to her husband and son because they were deceased. Her son received payments because of a diagnosed mental health condition, police said.
“The opinion of the medical examiner supports the investigation findings of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department,” Bohrer said in the press release about the autopsy results.