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Ala. dad wanted in murders of wife, kids believed dead

ADGER, Ala. -- A body has been discovered that authorities believe is that of an Alabama man wanted in the shooting deaths of his wife and two children.

Multiple media outlets report that Jefferson County sheriff's deputies responded Saturday to a wooded area near Adger to investigate a report of a suspicious vehicle.

Chief Deputy Randy Christian says deputies found a vehicle registered to Stephen Sean Hutcheson and inside the body of a man believed to be Hutcheson, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Christian says positive identification will be made by the coroner. Christian says it appeared the man had been dead several days.

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Kimberly Hutcheson, left, Peyton Hutcheson, center, and Doris Hutcheson, right WIAT

Forty-seven year old Hutcheson faced capital murder charges after the bodies of his wife and two children -- Doris Hutcheson, 49, Kimberly Hutcheson, 14, and Peyton Hutcheson, 12 -- were found June 28 at their McCalla home, about 20 miles south of Birmingham. Police described the crime scene as "violent," and said son Peyton may have been awake during the shootings and witnessed his father's actions before his death, CBS affiliate WIAT reported.

"We have had a team on this around the clock from the initial call until what appears to now be the conclusion of this investigation," Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale said in a statement released to WIAT late Sunday afternoon. "It's been gut wrenching for all involved. The person responsible for this senseless, brutal case will answer for it in a much higher court than we could have offered."

Investigators believe Hutcheson shot his family to death on June 26 -- two days before the bodies were discovered -- and spent the weekend doing cocaine with his girlfriend, WIAT reported.

"I suppose all things considered this is the ending we expected. It's the end of a tragic and sad case that shook us, a family, and a community to the core," Chief Deputy Randy Christian told WIAT. "He took the answers to why and how this could happen with him. God bless and comfort those left behind to grieve, suffer and struggle with how someone could be capable of such evil."