Superior police confirm murder-suicide
Superior police on Thursday confirmed the identities of the victims of an apparent homicide-suicide.
Superior Police Chief Floyd Peters identified the victims as Matthew Magdzas, 23; April Oles-Magdzas, 26; and Lila Jean Magdzas, 13 months. Family members said April was approximately 8½ months pregnant.
In addition, authorities found three dogs in the home that also were fatally shot.
Police said the deaths were reported at 12:36 p.m. Wednesday when a woman saying that she was April's mother called 911 to report that her daughter, husband and baby were in the residence and believed that "he killed them all."
Police believe that Matthew shot his family members and dogs before taking his own life, Peters said. Police have not been able to determine a motive. To Peters' knowledge, no note was found.
Police recovered a handgun at the scene. Peters said family members had contacted the victims around 2 p.m. Tuesday. While an exact time of death has not been established, police believe the shootings happened sometime Tuesday afternoon.
Autopsies will be conducted on the bodies of the victims in Ramsey, Minn.
At the news conference, Peters stressed that the investigation was less than 24 hours old and many questions remain unanswered. The investigation at the scene came to a stop late Wednesday evening when officers discovered what could be possible explosive devices in a backpack in the home.
Officers evacuated the home until members of the 148th explosive ordinance disposal unit arrived on the scene this morning. The unit's members determined the devices, although they looked like pipe bombs, probably were not explosive. However, in accordance with their procedures the devices were taken to a safe location and destroyed.
Superior police have been in close contact with the victims' families and have contacted the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Matthew was a member of the National Guard but had been in a non-drilling status for about the past year. Matthew deployed voluntarily to Iraq with the 121st field artillery battalion from 2006-07.
Peters said the police had had no prior calls to the residence for any domestic incidents or disturbances. Additionally, Magdzas had no adult arrests with the Superior Police Department.
"We want to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of April and Matthew during this extremely difficult time," Peters said.
Police are asking that anyone who may have information related to this incident to call the department's tip line at (715) 395 7468 or the sergeant of investigations at (715) 395 7652.