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Family Friend: Tyrrells Are Kind of Citizens the World Needs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield police are asking for the public’s help in solving a double homicide.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield police are asking for the public’s help in solving a double homicide.

On Thursday around 7 p.m., police say the daughter of 60-year-old Gary Tyrrell and his wife, 61-year-old Jan, discovered the couple dead in their home on S. Greenbriar Ave.

Neighbors and friends say they simply cannot believe this has happened. They are shocked and saddened about the Tyrrell, whom they have known for decades.

At the same time, they are concerned that their friends were murdered in their neighborhood.

Now, police need a suspect and answers.

“It just doesn't make sense,” says Chet Baldwin, a neighbor.

A neighborhood is shaken.

“I'm lost to what happened,” says Baldwin. “And worried that it was both of them.”

Friends and neighbors alike are in disbelief.

“(They were) real good people,” he says. “He'd work in his yard and I'd take a walk out here and we would chat and everything. He was really big into the flowers.”

In a press conference on Friday, police say the couple’s daughter made a call to the department to check on her parents, who she hadn’t heard from for about a day.

“Approximately 7 p.m. we had a call from the daughter of the two residents,” says Lt. Tad Peters, with the Springfield Police Department. “She reported she had been unable to contact her parents during the day and was concerned about them.”

Officers say the daughter spoke to her parents just the day before. Gary was a long time educator and Jan sold Avon.

Now, police are being tight lipped about specifics in the case not say how or where they died in the house.

“Yes, they did have wounds that were apparent,” says Peters.

Police are looking at the retail areas around the neighborhood for possible help from surveillance equipment, they're interviewing friends, neighbors and family and looking for help from the public.

At this time, police say they have no suspect.

“We're currently trying to identify a suspect,” says Peters.

The information police have right now is of little comfort to the people in the Greenbriar neighborhood.

“We don't know who the suspect is,” says Peters. “So we're not able to tell them who to watch out for or that type of thing. We would just say, as we typically do in a situation like this, be aware of your surroundings, people that are around your homes, watch for any suspicious activity.”

Longtime friend Neva Blakey sold Avon with Jan and travelled with her on business trips. She says this is a loss for everyone.

“How could somebody do this?” Blakey asks. “For any reason they were wonderful people. They were. They had contributed much to society to the world. Gary was a retired Superintendent from Mt. Grove. So, they’re the kinds of citizens that the world wants and needs.”

Police have been working inside the Tyrell’s home since Thursday night, gathering evidence and canvassing the neighborhood, as well as talking to friends, family and neighbors.

Now, they are turning for the public for help. If you have any information in this case you are asked to contact the Springfield Police Department at 864-1810 or Crimestoppers at 869-8477,

Police say an autopsy in this case will be conducted on Saturday in hopes more information can be gathered to answer questions and locate a suspect.

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