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Father, daughter discovered dead inside Clark Co. home

Published: Feb. 23, 2016 at 4:20 AM EST|Updated: Apr. 8, 2016 at 11:22 PM EDT
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Clark County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Scottie Maples (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Clark County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Scottie Maples (Source: WAVE 3 News)

OTISCO, IN (WAVE) - A father and daughter were found dead in their own home. Their bodies were discovered around 7:30 p.m. Monday night along State Road 3 in Otisco.

They believe the father died of heart complications and the daughter a possible suicide, but it's still unclear who passed away first. No one else lives in the home. 

Along busy Highway 3 in Otisco, neighbors are used to a quiet life. What they aren't used to are flashing lights and a death investigation unfolding after the bodies of a father and daughter are found. 

"I just know them as people and kind neighbors," Raymond, who asked not to appear on camera, said. "They were good folks."

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Raymond has lived near the family for more than 15 years. While he didn't know the daughter very well, he talked to the father Ronney Cornelius, 72, quite a bit. 

"He come by, probably four or five days ago," Raymond said. 

The Clark County Sheriff's Office said after not being able to reach them, a friend got concerned and called for a welfare check. That's when deputies made the discovery. Raymond said even though Ronney had heart problems he took good care of his daughter, Sylvia Cornelius, 44, who was bedridden. 

"I hate to say it, but she was a little overweight and don't know exactly what kind of health problems she had," Raymond said. 

The coroner's office said Ronney died of natural causes. 

At this time, they believe Sylvia took her own life. 

Investigators won't say what led them to believe suicide, but toxicology results are pending. 

Because of her weight, investigators were forced to cut out part of the home to remove her body, but that's not how Raymond wants her to be remembered.

"I didn't know her that well, but she had to have been a wonderful person," Raymond said. "She went to school and graduated first in her class. She had a lot things, she had friends and was avid on the computer."

Raymond said Ronney had a passion for his animals. He had six dogs, four of them greyhounds, which he enjoyed racing over the years. 

"He really loved his dogs, he would take them and exercise them and if you see his truck up there you can tell he was into it pretty good," Raymond said. 

Clark County Animal Control has removed all of the animals and they are currently at the shelter. They will try to reach other family members to see if they would like the dogs, otherwise they will go to rescue groups.

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