By Peter D'Oench

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A death investigation in Miami may be connected to three bodies found in a car in remote Collier County on Thursday.

After digging for details all day, CBS4’s Peter D’Oench was told this is an apparent triple murder suicide that started in Miami.

Miami police said Thursday night they sent officers to an apartment at 550 NW 51st Avenue to do a welfare check. When no one answered they knocked on the door and forced their way inside.

After making their way in, police made a chilling discovery inside the fourth floor apartment.

“Once our officers entered the apartment they discovered the body of a young lady in her 40s,” said police Lt. Freddie Cruz.

Police have not released her name or said how she died. But did say they were investigating it as a homicide.

Investigators would not say how she died but they seized bags of evidence from the apartment.

The sheriff’s department in Collier County believes the women’s death is tied to the discovery of three bodies – a man, a woman and girl – found in a dark gray Chevrolet near a vacant lot in Ochopee, which is near the Miami-Dade/Collier County line.

“At the moment it’s a puzzle that we are putting together. All I can say is that this is tragic incident. We’re asking anyone with information that can help us put this puzzle together to please come forward,” said Cruz.

Jim Bronson of Miami discovered the bodies.

“I just knew there was something wrong, bad wrong,” he said.

Bronson said the woman was dead in the driver’s seat and two others were in the back of the car.

“She was slumped over on the passenger side and there was blood on her face and I could tell her eyes were open,” he said.

The sheriff’s office said the man was found with a gun in his right hand and all three people were shot in the head.

Bronson first spotted the car sitting across from his property on a section of grass near the road around 9:30 a.m.

The Chevrolet Malibu was not running, which he thought was unusual.

“When I went by I saw there was a young lady that looked like she was sleeping,” he said.

Bronson said he went to check his mail about a half hour later and the car was still there. That’s when he went over to it.

“I knocked on the window and I could tell then that, I looked through the front window and saw blood and I could tell there was something bad wrong,” said Bronson.

He immediately called 911.

When detectives arrived, they shut down a lane along US 41.

A helicopter circled, taking pictures of the scene from above.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kristi Lester confirmed all three people had been shot.

Both departments believe the investigations are linked and are not looking for any suspects.

“At the moment it’s a puzzle that we are putting together. All I can say is that this is tragic incident. We’re asking anyone with information that can help us put this puzzle together to please come forward,” said Cruz.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

Peter D'Oench

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