The bodies of two teenage friends were found near a gun in a heavily wooded area, and authorities looked into Facebook postings and text messages for clues Wednesday but said they were not searching for suspects.
Lisa Marie Grijalva, 15, of Oak Park Heights, and Jacob Zachary Campbell, 14, of Lakeland, were found dead Tuesday in a park roughly 25 miles east of Minneapolis. Both had gunshot wounds, although a medical examiner had not yet confirmed if they were the cause of death, Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton said.
Deputies called to the scene found a long-barreled gun near one of the bodies. Authorities said they were following many leads, but they were not looking for suspects and there was no public safety concern.
"It being young people, there are many different rumors and stories out there and it's our responsibility to follow up on that," Hutton said. "If people are saying certain things, we want to check them out."
He said investigators were interviewing people and following up on information about text messages and postings on Facebook.
"They were friends. They've known each other for a while and they've been hanging out," Hutton said. "The rest we continue to look into, as to what that all meant."
The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was assisting with the investigation.
Lisa and Jacob were ninth-graders at Oak-Land Junior High in Lake Elmo. Carissa Keister, a spokeswoman at Stillwater Area Public Schools, said staff greeted students as they arrived to school Wednesday and additional counselors were on hand to meet with students or staff members individually or in small groups.
A Facebook page titled "R.I.P. Lisa Grijalva & Jacob Campbell" contained messages from friends and others who didn't know Lisa or Jacob but expressed condolences Wednesday.
In a letter to parents, Oak-Land principal Derek Berg extended sympathy to those who knew Lisa and Jacob, and said students were being encouraged to support one another. He also told parents to be aware that their children may experience "strong feelings" about the deaths and might need support outside of school.
"Please remember that it is appropriate for all of us to ask for support during this difficult time," Berg wrote.
"This is very tragic to us. Innocence is lost," Hutton said of the deaths. "It's very concerning, very tragic."
Hutton said the families asked for privacy Wednesday.