Oregon police: 5 dead in apparent murder-suicide

Associated Press Modified: May 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm •  Published: May 23, 2012
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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police were investigating the deaths of three Oregon children and their parents as an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday after authorities found the bodies of the children and their mother at a burned home and their father's in a car hours later.

Authorities have not identified the victims, and police say they don't have other details about the parents' relationship.

The woman and children were discovered early Tuesday when Salem firefighters responded to a house fire in a working-class neighborhood of old homes, small apartment complexes and mature trees.

A neighbor reported awaking about 5:30 a.m. to the fire. Dan Grove told the Salem Statesman Journal that he "saw dark, black smoke pouring out of the house. I heard people screaming and yelling. It was for real."

About five hours later, the father was found dead in a vehicle about 75 miles south of Salem, in Cottage Grove.

Salem, the state capital, is about 50 miles south of Portland along Interstate 5.

Firefighters who came to the house found evidence of violence, said Salem police Lt. Dave Okada. An hour before that, Okada said, a driver making deliveries found the body of a sixth person on the street a quarter mile north of the house.

The body was identified Wednesday afternoon as 21-year-old Devin Matlock of Salem. Police listed head trauma as his cause of death. Okada said police are treating Matlock's death as a separate investigation from the bodies found in the house.

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