By Carey Gillam
(Reuters) - Nine people were found dead overnight in an apparent mass murder in rural southern Missouri, according to local media reports on Friday.
Eight people were thought to be victims of one suspect who was also found dead, according to a report from KSDK television. The nine dead were all found in and near the town of Tyrone, the TV station said. State police were to hold a news conference later in the morning.
The Texas County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the reports but confirmed an investigation into the killings in multiple locations was ongoing.
The Houston-Herald newspaper reported that staff at area schools were told to arrive early to counsel students.
The killings took place in a thinly populated, rural part of the state, near the Mark Twain National Forest. The region is known to attract tourists for its hunting, camping, and river rafting.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)