- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - The killer who shot a couple and their dog in their Aiken County home earlier this month also appears to have ransacked the house looking for things to steal, Sheriff Michael Hunt said Thursday.

Hunt released few additional details about the crime at a news conference. He won’t say what was stolen or why the killer chose the couple’s home in Jackson or how many people his in investigators think might be involved. But Hunt said he thinks his deputies are close to solving the case if he can get some help from neighbors and others in the community.

“We’re very close to tying up some loose ends so that we can make an arrest. But it is going to take the citizens’ help,” Hunt said.

Sandra Cochran, 70, was found inside the home with the dog Dec. 8, while the body of 74-year-old Louis “Baker” Cochran was outside, Hunt said. The coroner said both victims were shot several times.

The killer stole the couple’s car, which was recovered less than two days later, but Hunt wouldn’t say where the car was found.

The victims were likely dead for three days before their bodies were discovered, so Hunt is asking neighbors and others in the community to think hard about what happened in the area between Dec. 5 and Dec. 8 and call a special tip line at 803-507-1437 or email investigations@aikencountysheriff.org with any information.

“Nobody is going to ask your name or why you think it,” Hunt said. “Just leave your tips.”

Hunt said friends and family of the killers likely either know they might have been involved or have strong suspicions. He urged them to call deputies for their own safety and the safety of others.

“They may be key to helping us prevent another individual from being injured or murdered,” the sheriff said.

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