Thursday, August 9, 2012

Portland, OR: Man created fake persona before killing family

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Randall Engels used a fake name to exchange text messages with his estranged wife in the weeks before he killed her and their two children.

Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry revealed the new detail Thursday as his office closed its investigation into the Independence Day triple murder in Dundee.

Berry says Randall Engels created a fake persona named "Brian" and led his wife, Amy, to believe that a mutual friend had given him her number.

While pretending to be Brian, Randall encouraged his wife to try to work things out at home.

The pair exchanged frequent text messages until July 3, when Amy made it clear that she wouldn't return to her husband.

Randall Engels murdered his family the following day and killed himself.

Berry says there had been a history of domestic abuse by Randall against Amy, as well as emotional abuse against the entire family.

"Obviously in most relationships containing domestic violence, 'control' is a primary motivator of the perpetrator," Berry wrote in a memorandum about his investigation. "This separate persona created by Randall fits into this pattern of exerting control without Amy realizing she was sharing personal information with him that she would not have otherwise done."

Randall killed his family on July 4 after convincing them to meet him for lunch, Berry said.

Police were tipped off something might be wrong when a friend noticed a Facebook post from Randall that read "if she's gone I can't go on." There was also a picture posted online that appeared to show Amy dead.

Officers went to the home and found Randall, Amy and the children dead inside.

Based on the autopsy and other evidence, Berry concluded that Randall and shot Amy and the kids before killing himself.

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