Autopsies to determine Elsmere couple's cause of death

Police are investigating what led to the deaths of Stephanie Ell and Gibby Hood. A little girl was found with them but was unharmed (Provided)

ELSMERE, Ky. (WKRC) - Police identified the couple found dead as 29-year-old Stephanie Ell and her 42-year-old fiancé Gibby Hood.

Their 3-year-old daughter was safe in the home and is now with family.

There's still a lot more unknown about this situation than known. There is, so far, no official cause of death, but it's not a homicide investigation at this point.

It is known that friends lost track of the couple on Wednesday of last week. They suspected something was wrong.

A family member found the two Sunday at noon and called the police. Dead in the apartment were 29-year-old Stephanie Ell and 42-year-old Gibby Hood.

Tracie Jackson had briefly lived with the couple.

“I stayed with them a lot. I was going through a lot of stuff and they let me stay on their couch for a while,” said Jackson. “They were really great people. They were all about their daughter.”

The 3-year-old was found at the scene and left with the family member who found her mom and dad.

Neighbors say Gib Hood was always outside washing his car. One neighbor said he shoveled her sidewalk when she was injured.

The couple were not close to neighbors but had a lot of close friends. Deidre Frey was close with both and spent New Year’s Eve with them, but last week, phone calls went directly to voicemail. Texts went unanswered.

“We hadn't heard from them in four days so we decided that maybe it was time somebody goes and checks, you know?” said Frey. “I think it was maybe Wednesday night. That's when we decided… Let's go check. I drove down there the same time everybody was there already.”

The couple had past issues with addiction, but they had put together significant lengths of sobriety. They were clean and sober the last time friends saw them. Police won't speculate on any cause of death, but they were on the street gathering information on Monday.

“Right now, it's an open death investigation. Tomorrow we'll have some more answer after the autopsies are performed,” said Elsmere Police Chief Tim Thames.

Police will not comment on how long the two had been dead.

Friends say they did not respond to texts and calls for several days, but one friend says Stephanie Ell did read a Facebook message Friday night.

Friends say the two had one child together and were engaged to be married.

Elsmere Police is asking anyone who had contact with either Ell or Hood between February 8 - 11 to call Det. Tony Embry at 342-7344.

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