CULVER – It's safe to say what happened in the small town of about 1,300 is affecting just about everyone.
“Why [did it happen]? I don’t know,” said Diane Schaefer, who works in Culver. “I couldn’t even speculate.”
“How did it happen and how did people not see it coming before it happened?” asked Autumn McIlvain, who lives in Culver.
Police said Wednesday they have an idea about what may have happened, but they won’t release that information until they can say for sure.
Until that happens, people who live there are dealing with the rumor mill, including questions about the motive and whether the families of the victim – 16-year-old Stephen Suthard and his killer, 44-year-old Mike Price – know what led to Price’s wife discovering the bodies inside the couple’s Culver home one week earlier.
“You do hear stories around, but I don’t repeat anything because I don't know anything. I just feel really bad for everyone involved. It's terrible. Just terrible,” Schaefer added.
Police say Price shot Suthard multiple times inside Price's home before turning the gun on himself.
Crime scene tape is something people in Culver don't see often. In fact, the last murder there happened about 30 years ago, said Police Chief Wayne Bean.
“This has been a really nice, clean community for many, many years,” Culver resident Sherry Shultz told WSBT.
Bean said Wednesday he and other investigators are working non-stop to try and put the gossip to rest and figure out why it happened, adding they and family members of both Suthard and Price have “a good idea” of why.
But they don’t want to release anything until they know for sure, he said, emphasizing that might never happen.
“We’re here every day working on it until we feel confident we’ve gotten as far as we can,” he said.
But the chief did not know how long it might take to close the case. He would only say the investigation is ongoing, and he and other officers want to look into every possibility before anything is released to the public.
Until the case is closed, people will continue to wonder how such a young life could be taken in such a violent way.
“That was just a child; that’s just a little boy,” McIlvain said. “He didn’t get to grow up, you know?”
Suthard left behind lots of friends and classmates at Culver High School, where he was a sophomore. Principal Albert Hanselman said grief counselors are still going to the school each day, and students are dealing with the loss as well as can be expected.