Friday, December 4, 2009

Dad murders mom before taking himself out; bodies discovered by 6-year-old daughter (Vancouver, Washington)

Dad KYLE EPLEY shot his wife to death his wife before taking himself out. The bodies were discovered by the 6-year-old daughter and an unidentified adult. The parents were in the process of getting an divorce, and for once you have a neighbor who admits that Dad "wasn't friendly," so at least we're not subjected to the usual "what a good guy he was" nonsense.

This is the particularly alarming part: experts say that murder-suicides are "rare", but this is the 6th murder-suicide in the Vancouver metro area this year. It's like an epidemic of control freak men who just won't let go.

Vancouver woman slain in murder-suicide had just started nursing school
By Allan Brettman, The Oregonian
December 03, 2009, 6:37PM

VANCOUVER -- Erin M. Epley faced a money-losing sale of her east Vancouver house but she seemed happier in the months since her husband moved out in July, neighbors said Thursday.

Epley, 34, had just started nursing school at Clark College in Vancouver after working for a temporary job placement agency.

She was "a lot more chipper," said neighbor Kevin DeFord.

She and her husband filed for divorce in April, but Kyle Epley continued living in the home until July 5, DeFord said, when Vancouver police were called to the house.

Kyle Epley, 47, moved his belongings out of the house over the following months and the divorce became final Aug. 5. For reasons unknown, Epley returned to the house on Wednesday, shooting his former wife several times before shooting himself in the head. Both died.

The couple's daughter, 6-year-old Bailey Jo, returned to the home about 2 p.m. with an unidentified adult and saw her parents, DeFord said. The child is with a relative who lives in Clark County, said DeFord's wife, Heather DeFord.

The DeFords said the July 5 incident was the first inkling that neighbors had that the Epleys' marriage was in trouble.

Vancouver police arrived at the home that day and "he was escorted off the property that day," DeFord said.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said earlier Thursday that none of the police reports she had seen about the killings mentioned previous incidents at the home, and she couldn't be reached later for further comment.

The Clark County Medical Examiner's Office listed Erin Epley's death as a homicide and Kyle Epley's death as a suicide.

Nothing in the Epley divorce papers points to possible reasons behind the attack. The divorce was uncontested. Erin Epley didn't check any boxes indicating a restraining order was in effect at the time and no separate orders were filed in Superior Court.

The couple married Nov. 15, 2004, in Ventura, Calif., and had one child. Erin Epley was given ownership of the couple's home. The divorce papers say she was the sole purchaser of the house and had home loans of $250,000 and $30,000.

The DeFords said Kyle Epley lived in the home between April and July 5 because he, as well as his soon-to-be former wife, were short of money.

The house on Southeast 30th Way is on Vancouver's easternmost edge. The neighborhood is a short walk from wooded trails and a shopping center featuring two of the best restaurants in Vancouver.

It's also a close neighborhood, but Kyle Epley was never really part of it in the three years the couple lived in the home, Kevin DeFord said, though he did add that Epley appeared to be a devoted father to his daughter, even after the separation.

Neighbors, accustomed to shared barbecues and summer evenings of conversation, were meeting Thursday night to talk about the killings.

DeFord said Kyle Epley's hours recently had been cut at his job for a Vancouver heavy equipment manufacturer.

"He wasn't friendly," DeFord said.

“But the bottom line,” DeFord said of the murder-suicide, “is that you would never, in a million years, peg that.”

It was the sixth murder-suicide in the metro area in the past month. A seventh attempted murder-suicide also occurred last month in Coos County.

-- Allan Brettman