LEOLA, Pa.—Police are investigating the apparent murders of a woman and her daughter in their south-central Pennsylvania home, and they are seeking information about a man believed to have lived in their house, police said.

Officers in Lancaster County discovered the bodies of Mona Jean Hess, 56, and her daughter Makenzie Lauren Hess, 22, in Leola shortly before 1:25 p.m. Saturday, The (Lancaster) Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era (http://bit.ly/Mcebvj) said.

Police did not say how the woman died. The Lancaster County coroner said autopsies will be performed Monday.

Police said in a statement that investigators are seeking information about 22-year-old Gary Charles Gerlach "so they can account for his well-being." They did not elaborate.

"It's shocking. You live in a neighborhood like this because stuff like this doesn't happen in a neighborhood like this," said Brett Hower, who just graduated from Conestoga Valley High School.

Neighbors described Mona Hess as a friendly woman who walked her little dog around the neighborhood each morning and evening.

"She always said 'Hi,'" said neighbor Beth Hostetter, adding that Mona Hess "loved her dog."

The Rev. Kevin Eshleman, executive pastor of Ephrata Community Church, said that both women regularly attended services there.

"I would describe Mona as a very gentle person," Eshleman said. "I felt like she always wanted to do the right thing ... make the best of any situation she was in."


Information from: Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era , http://lancasteronline.com