Small community mourns deaths of elderly couple

  • Associated Press
  • December 9, 2013 - 6:55 PM

IRON RIVER, Wis. — A small community in Bayfield County is mourning the deaths of an elderly couple who were killed in an attack at their home.

Sheriff's officials identified the couple as Jim Crain, 79, and Eunice Crain, 76, of Iron River. A 44-year-old man who sustained injuries that were not life-threatening during the attack is a suspect in the homicides and is being held under guard at a Duluth, Minn., hospital, Bayfield County sheriff's officials said.

Deputies responded to a 911 call at the couple's home shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday about a fight in progress. Authorities found the couple dead in their apartment and the man injured.

Bayfield County Sheriff Paul Susienka said at a news conference Monday that the suspect was in an induced coma, WDIO-TV reported.

Eunice Crain made the 911 call, Susienka said. A firearm was not involved in the couple's deaths, the sheriff said, but he said it's too early to say what caused their deaths.

Autopsies were being done at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office. Preliminary results were expected to be released late Monday.

The Crains' landlord, Eric Olson, said the scene in the apartment indicated a violent attack.

"There was blood on the ceilings, all over the walls and in the bathroom," Olson told the Duluth News Tribune. "It was gruesome murder scene. It's something you see in a horror movie."

The homicides in the community of 1,000, about 40 miles southeast of Duluth, had residents reeling.

"They were very loving and well-respected in the community," friend and neighbor Donna Olson said. "This was a complete shock, so we are all trying to figure out what the heck happened."

A friend of the couple, Rod Abbas, said he met the Crains at the local all-terrain vehicle club.

"We were just getting ready to celebrate his (Jim's) 80th birthday," Abbas said. "We had planned a surprise birthday party for him."

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