BESSEMER, Ala. -- An Alabama man is accused of fatally shooting his wife and two children, then spending a weekend with his girlfriend at a motel, where the two snorted cocaine, authorities said Wednesday.
Stephen Sean Hutcheson, 47, is wanted on capital murder charges in the deaths of Doris Hutcheson, 49, Kimberly Hutcheson, 14, and Peyton Hutcheson, 12. Each was fatally shot and their bodies were found in the family's McCalla home Sunday after one of their relatives called authorities for a welfare check over the weekend, Jefferson County sheriff's officials have said.
McCalla is about 20 miles southwest of Birmingham.
Hutcheson, reportedly an employee with the Shelby County School District, is still at large and is considered armed and dangerous, Lt. David Agee of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said at a Wednesday press conference. Because of his "financial situation," he's believed to still be in the area where the murders took place, Agee said.
Hutcheson is facing four capital murder charges -- one for each victim and an additional charge for the youngest victim because he was under 14, Agee said.
"The evidence is clear that this man is responsible for the death of his family," Agee said.
Investigators believe Hutcheson shot his family to death Friday night, CBS affiliate WIAT reports. Aigee said police have a "clear picture" of Hutcheson's actions following the murders. They say he and his girlfriend bought cocaine and spent the weekend together in a motel room. Hutcheson is believed to have bought cocaine at least three times over the weekend, WIAT reports.
Police say Doris Hutcheson's sister told investigators she received a text message from her sister's phone saying she was planning on spending several days at the beach, Sgt. Jack Self said. Investigators reportedly believe Stephen Hutcheson sent the text from his slain wife's phone in order to mislead her family members.
Hutcheson's girlfriend has cooperated with investigators and isn't a suspect in the shootings, authorities said in a statement.
The crime scene indicates son Peyton, 12, may have been awake during the shootings and witnessed his father's actions before his death, WIAT reports.
Wednesday, Aigee described the scene as "a mess."
"It was a very violent scene," he said.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Veitch told Al.com that a national alert has been issued for him.
"I've seen some sad cases we have had to investigate over the years, but it's hard to remember one more gut wrenching," Sheriff Mike Hale was quoted by Al.com as saying.
"I'm so sorry for that family and for that community and our prayers are with them. I'm also sorry for my deputies that had to endure what comes with such a task. That will stay with them for a lifetime."