Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eagle Point, OR: Authorities Rule Deaths A Murder-suicide

Jackson County sheriff's investigators have closed the case on a murder-suicide reported Sunday in Eagle Point.

Jackson County Medical Examiner Dr. James Olson determined Liesa J. Werner, 53, of Eagle Point, died from a single rifle shot to the chest. The shooting was ruled a homicide, a news release reported.

Eugene A. Koch, 55, from Eureka, Calif., died from a single rifle shot to the chest, in what Olson determined was a suicide.

Investigators say Koch shot Werner Sunday night and then turned the gun on himself.

According to the Sheriff's Department, Koch drove from Eureka and showed up unexpectedly at 5 p.m. at Werner's home in the 2300 block of Butte Falls Highway, about two miles east of Highway 62. He never came back out.

Police said family members told them the two had broken off a long-term relationship recently, which left Koch distraught and suicidal.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said the investigation into the case has been closed, though not before detectives looked at it from various angles to determined what happened.

"You want to make sure that it was in fact (a murder-suicide)," Carlson said. "You have to be careful when investigating suicides."

Carlson said the department treats all suicides as potential homicides.

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