Autopsy, identifying victims in Turlock murder-suicide up next for police

sghag@modbee.comJune 28, 2014 

With processing of the scene completed, Turlock police have turned their attention to identifying the four people found dead Thursday night in an apparent murder-suicide on Red Oak Court as autopsy results are awaited this week.

“The initial scene investigation is wrapped up,” said Turlock police Lt. Miguel Pacheco.

Investigators began working the site after a female family member called police upon discovering the bodies at 10 p.m. Thursday. A 78-year-old man, his wife, 70, and their two sons, ages 39 and 42, were found in various areas of the home in a quiet neighborhood in north Turlock between Pitman High School and Highway 99.

“Our investigators put a lot of hours into the investigation,” Pacheco said. “We brought in additional staff to process the scene.”

Investigators worked throughout Thursday night and late into Friday collecting evidence, he said.

Firefighters were called in because of an element of arson.

“It’s a traumatic incident,” Pacheco said, requiring “many, many hours” to process. Generally speaking, he said, these types of investigations begin with collecting evidence and interviewing neighbors and family members.

“They have to work with the evidence and conduct any follow-up interviews,” he said.

Police spokeswoman Mayra Lewis indicated last week that an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday. Its results would indicate the cause of death. Police also will be looking into a motive and identifying the killer. Lewis last week said the sole female found in the house is not considered a suspect.

The neighborhood was the scene of another murder-suicide in 2011. A man shot his former partner and then himself in front of their 8-year-old son after they drove to the neighborhood separately to exchange custody of the child. The shooting was on Grand Oak Drive, about a block from last week’s murder-suicide.

Anyone with information regarding the case on Red Oak Court is asked to contact Detective Brandon Bertram at (209) 668-5550, ext. 6623. The Turlock Police Department is a participant in the Crime Stoppers program; callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.

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