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High School Seniors Jamie Serich and Colin Hart Found Shot to Death in Ohio Cemetery; Suicide Pact?

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (CBS/AP) Jamie Serich and Colin Hart were two Ohio high school seniors, found shot to death as they lay next to each other in a local cemetery.

But was this tragedy a murder or a suicide-pact?

Photo: Colin Hart, 18.

That is what police are trying to figure out in the small city of Boardman, Ohio, just outside of Youngstown.

Serich, 17, and Hart, 18, were both students at Cardinal Mooney High School, whose football team just won the Ohio Division III championship Friday - its seventh state title.

But the jubilation was short-lived.

"This is a tragedy anyway you look at it," Boardman police Lt. Don Hawkins told CBS News' Crimesider.

"The school is really tight-knit and went from the highest of highs Friday to the lowest of lows Monday," he said.

The two bodies were found side-by-side Sunday morning at Forest Lawn Cemetery, with a pistol nearby. Each had been shot once in the temple, police say.

"They weren't just friends they were best friends," said fellow student and friend Ryan Granitto. "They were two of the nicest kids you could ever meet… all around great kids."

Gunshot residue tests have been ordered for the hands of both victims. Police told CBS that they hope that the results will clarify if there was one shooter or two.

Hart apparently shot himself, but investigators were trying to determine if Serich had shot himself or if Hart killed him.

Serich was reported missing by his family about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

"There were concerns about his mental state, suicidal thoughts," Hawkins said.

The determination of a murder-suicide or double suicide would be up to the coroner, Hawkins said.

"We have one gun, two shell casings," Hawkins said.

Police have collected cell phones from the men, and have sent the evidence to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. It has been suggested that at least one of the teens texted a suicide note to family members, say police.

Hawkins said Hart apparently had the weapon, a semiautomatic handgun, but it wasn't known where he got it.

An officer on routine patrol saw a car in the cemetery and found the bodies.

Joe Colaluca, a friend of both Serich and Hart, took to his Facebook account to express his sympathy. "Colin and Jamie- you were two great guys who I had the privilege of knowing, know that you and your families are in our prayers and you will always be loved and you will never be forgotten."

"Colin was an unforgettable kid," wrote Carrie DelSignore, whose home Hart played at for years. "No matter what he did, you couldn't be mad at him, you couldn't dislike him. I could see right through him into his heart. He had an appropriate last name. He was so charming," DelSignore posted on Facebook.

The school had previously canceled Monday classes for its 630 students because of the championship but opened to make counselors available to students and for a memorial Mass.
  • Ryan Smith

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