Preliminary Autopsy Results Confirm Ashland/Philadelphia Victims Died Due to Gunshot Wounds, Surviving Victim Remains in ICU

By Jeremy Coumbes on December 19, 2023 at 3:12pm

The surviving victim of a pair of shootings in Cass County last week remains hospitalized.

Cass County Sheriff and County Coroner, Devron Ohrn released an update this afternoon on the shootings that left three people dead and one critically injured in Ashland and the Philadelphia township last week.

Officers responded to a home in rural Philadelphia Thursday night for a call of a man who had been shot. Police found the victim, a 20-year-old male resident who was treated at the scene before being transported to an area hospital where he remains in the intensive care unit.

A female victim was found and pronounced deceased in the Philadelphia residence. Information provided by the male victim led police to a residence in Ashland where two more female victims were discovered.

A suspect was identified and he was found deceased inside of his vehicle on North Main Street in Jacksonville of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Autopsies were conducted on the female victims, and according to Sheriff Ohrn today, 19-year-old Autumn Bell of Ashland, who was found in the Philadelphia residence, and her unborn child both died as a result of a gunshot wound.

53-year-old Christina Bell, and 16-year-old Alaria Bell, both of Ashland and found in the Ashland residence both died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to preliminary autopsy results.

Ohrn says in the announcement that it will likely be the last press release on the incidents from his office. He is asking the public to continue to offer prayers and support to the victims as well as their families and friends at this time.

Funeral arrangements have been announced for the victims. A visitation will be held for Christina, Autumn Bell, Alaria Bell, and unborn granddaughter Mariposa Pena, from 9-11 AM this Saturday, at the Virginia United Methodist Church.

A memorial service will be held after the visitation. Following the visitation, a burial will be held for Autumn, Alaria, and Mariposa at Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Virginia.

Private graveside services for Christina will be held at a later date at Ashland Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to an education fund that is being set up for Christina’s son Jonathan Bell in care of Havana National Bank. Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Virginia is in charge of arrangements.