Man kills woman, 8-year-old son in Willits triple murder-suicide


THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | January 11, 2019, 10:15AM

| Updated 13 minutes ago.

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An eight-year-old boy was one of the victims identified in a triple murder-suicide that happened in a Willits home on Thursday afternoon, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Detectives determined a 49-year-old man killed his partner, a 32-year-old woman, and their son before committing suicide, authorities said in a prepared statement.

“A lot of investigators working on this case are mothers and fathers, so it has really hit home for our department,” Sheriff’s Capt. Gregory Van Patten said. “It makes it that much more difficult to not have it feel personal so we are all working to keep it together since this is a sensitive situation.”

Deputies said they received a report from a caller on Thursday afternoon who saw a large amount of blood on the floor after looking through the window of a home in the 5000 block of Hearst Willits Road.

A firearm was used in the death of all three, the sheriff’s office said, and it was believed to be stolen during a burglary of a nearby neighbor’s house.

The two adults were known to be in a relationship together and the eight-year-old was their biological son, the sheriff’s office said. There were no known documented domestic violence cases involving the adults outside of this incident, the sheriff’s office said.

The names of the victims have not been yet released as the sheriff’s office works to notify family members of the victims.

Van Patten said investigators think the family members of the deceased are not from the area.

You can reach Staff Writer Alexandria Bordas at 707-521-5337 or On Twitter @CrossingBordas.

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