LANCASTER – Two people found dead in an apparent murder-suicide are believed to be the couple that was reported missing from Lancaster, authorities said.
Jovan Webb, 30, and Haley Mercier, 21, both of Lancaster, were last seen about 6 a.m. Wednesday, April 25, and were believed to be traveling in Webb’s older-model red Mazda Miata convertible, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. They were considered at risk because Webb was said to be suffering from depression. [View the Missing Persons bulletin here.]
Family members contacted Lancaster Sheriff’s Station on Thursday, April 26, stating they had found Webb’s vehicle near Munz Ranch Road and the California Aqueduct, according to the sheriff’s news release.
“Lancaster Station deputies conducted an extensive search of the area for the missing couple with the assistance of Aero Bureau. At approximately 3:30 p.m. they were able to locate a male and a female that were each suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body,” the sheriff’s news release states.
“They were pronounce dead at the scene. A firearm was found at the location,” the news release states.
Authorities believe the incident to be a murder-suicide, and the investigation is still ongoing. The deceased couple’s identity will be formally determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, sheriff’s officials said.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
UPDATE: The deceased couple was confirmed as Hailey Lorraine Mercier, 21, and Jovan Assante Webb, 30, both of Lancaster, according to coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter. Webb died of a gunshot wound to the head and his death was recorded as a suicide, while Mercier died of a gunshot wound and her death was recorded as a homicide, Winter said.