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Police Believe Glendale Shooting Deaths Were Murder-Suicide

Catherine Murch shot her two children and then turned the gun on herself at their Glendale home on Monday, investigators said at a news conference this afternoon.

Major Case Squad investigators have confirmed they believe the Glendale shootings on Monday were a murder-suicide, based on physical and circumstantial evidence.

Catherine Murch and her children — Mary Claire and Mitchell III, ages 8 and 10 respectively — were found shot to death in the home at 740 Hawbrook Monday morning.

"Catherine took the lives of her children and then turned the gun on herself," said Lt. Tim Fagan, of the Major Case Squad, at a 4:30 p.m. news conference Friday.

The news comes the day before the funeral of Catherine and her children.

Fagan said the first clue that it was a murder-suicide was the fact that the medical examiner's office determined that the single gunshot wound to Catherine was self-inflicted.

Other evidence was that Catherine had purchased the handgun (which was used in the shootings) from a Valley Park gun shop on July 28 — two days before the shootings, Fagan said (see a picture of the gun receipt among the pictures included with this article).

Additionally, Fagan said, Catherine had several Internet searches specific to "this type of incident." There was no suicide note.

Fagan became emotional during the news conference, pausing for about 20 seconds to compose himself.

"I have a picture of someone who loved their children very much, and I know it's difficult for all of us to understand," he said.

Fagan also said that Catherine had a mental health history — depression, and that the family had been under financial strain.

Fagan said Mary Claire was shot once and Mitchell III was shot multiple times. He did not know the chain of events of the shootings.

"There's only one way to know the chain of events, and those people aren't with us anymore," he said.

Fagan said his squad is still awaiting some results from the investigation, including toxicology reports. He added that he didn't think there was much time for Mitchell Murphy II (the father of the children) to intervene.

Mitchell Murch II was in the home on the first floor when it happened. He was questioned and released on Monday.

The children attended  (MQP) School in Webster Groves, and the family was very active in the church. 

To see the complete news conference, click on the video attached to this article provided by our partners at FOX 2.

See previous Patch stories:

Chris Rayborn August 03, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Remove the name of the salesman! There is no need to link this person to this event!!
H Wills August 04, 2012 at 10:06 AM
why are there people in this world, trying so hard to get pregnant to have kids, when there are others who so easily want to take them away. Sad story. Picture perfect, one never knows.

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