Officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigate the discovery of four bodies in a vehicle at the former Renegade Mountain resort community, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, near Crab Orchard, Tenn. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said four people were been found shot to death Thursday in a car near a former mountain resort in Cumberland County. A resident found the bodies on the way to work Thursday morning after seeing a parked car and going to investigate. / Associated Press
CROSSVILLE, Tenn. -- Officials confirmed Friday that Jacob Allen Bennett, 26, is the suspect in custody for the quadruple homicide in a former mountain resort town in Cumberland County.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said at a press conference here Friday afternoon that Bennett was arrested on a parole violation Thursday night after four people were found shot to death in a car on Renegade Mountain, about 50 miles west of Knoxville.
According to a TBI release, the driver of the vehicle was Rikki Danielle Jacobsen, 22. The three teen passengers were Steven Presley, 17, Dominic Davis, 17, and John Lajeunesse, 16. Officials have submitted their bodies for autopsy.
"We believe that we have this person that committed these crimes in custody, that this community is safe," Gwyn said.
Bennett was being held at Cumberland County jail while prosecutors prepared to call a special grand jury to evaluate charges. The jail had no immediate information about whether Bennett had an attorney.
Cumberland Co. chief investigator Casey Cox said Friday that this is a very traumatic case because of the number and age of the victims. He added he has never witnessed a case like this in his 14 years with the sheriff's office.
"This (homicide case) is very devastating to the victim's families and (Cumberland County) students," said Cox.
Gwyn said that they knew Bennett was a suspect very early on in the investigation. According to officials, Bennett has a lengthy criminal history, and the Cumberland County sheriff's office confirmed Bennett has been in their jail "maybe five times."
Bennett was sentenced to two years in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to a series of charges in Cumberland and Fentress counties, including being a convicted violent felon in possession of a firearm and theft, according to court records. Bennett had previously been incarcerated in Florida.
"There are some indications that there was some connection between the suspect and one, possibly two of the victims," said Deputy District Attorney General Gary McKenzie. But he declined to specify which of the victims might have known Bennett, or provide a possible motive or other details about the case.
TBI wouldn't confirm whether drugs were involved in the murders.
Cox said investigators have been working around the clock since the bodies were discovered about 7:00 a.m. Thursday by a Renegade Mountain community resident, and are still collecting evidence.
"There is still some work to be done on this case. Agents are working right now," said Cox.
Cumberland County Superintendent Donald Andrews said grief counselors are available at all three area high schools.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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