Two teens dead in Jackson Township in double suicide or murder-suicide

(Photo: Adrienne DiPiazza/FOX 8 News)

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio– The Jackson Township Police Department is investigating what it believes is a double suicide or murder-suicide.

Police received a call to check on the welfare of two teens. An officer found them in a wooded area south of Portage Road at about 8:29 p.m. Friday.

Jackson Township police said a 16-year-old Lawrence Township girl was dead at the scene. A 17-year-old Canal Fulton boy was taken to the hospital, where pronounced dead at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

According to police, a handgun was found at the scene. The deaths are being investigated as a possible double suicide or a homicide-suicide.

Both teens were students at Northwest High School. Northwest Local Schools said there will be counselors available starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Support staff will also be at the school on Monday and for as long as they are needed.

“Our district staff works hard to provide students and staff with the resources and support they need to handle difficult situations that they are facing. We will continue to do this,” said superintendent Dr. Mike Shreffler in a message on the district’s website. “I am asking that, at this time, you give the families space to grieve and respect their wishes. Please keep in mind that social media is not the place to get accurate information or to spread rumors.”

This news comes after a 13-year-old boy shot himself inside of Jackson Memorial Middle School on Tuesday and died of his injuries. Investigators said they recovered a .22 caliber long gun and a backpack containing “distractionary-type devices.”

Police and school officials across Stark County have been dealing with an increased amount of threats posted on social media. Threats against GlenOak High School, McKinley High School, Massillon Washington High School and Marlington High School resulted in arrests.

Meanwhile, in nearby Perry Township, six current or former Perry Local School District students who have taken their own lives since the beginning of the school year.