After more than four years of marriage, Svetlana Bhattacharyya was looking for a change, saying in October 2008 that she was "not very happy" with her living situation in Minneapolis, according to court documents.

Within months, the then-23-year-old University of Minnesota student had moved out and started divorce proceedings against her husband, Robin C. Bhattacharyya.

On Thursday, Eagan police identified the 29-year-old Minneapolis man as the man who used a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun to kill his former wife and her current husband, Charles Hanson, 42, in their Eagan house on Tuesday night.

Three children under the age of 12, including the Hansons' 9-month-old son, were sleeping in the home and not injured during the shooting rampage, which happened about 10 p.m.

Also uninjured was Svetlana Hanson's father, who was standing near the couple when police say the ex-husband opened fire through a front window during a severe thunderstorm.

What police are still trying to figure out is why. Also a mystery is the significance, if any, of the date of Tuesday's attack: the day after Svetlana Hanson turned 25.

"We have not identified any significant evidence that indicates why this date was chosen or if anything was planned on her birthday," Eagan police spokeswoman Danielle Anselment said.

"This tragedy came as a surprise, obviously. A true surprise," said Svetlana Hanson's uncle, Mark Stipakov of Orono. "One thing we want to make very clear is that this family was a very loving family. They loved each other and they loved their children. It's a shame, and right now they are in heaven together, that's all we can say."

Stipakov and his wife are now caring for the couple's baby son, Bjorn. They and Hanson's family will raise the baby together.

Attempts to reach Bhattacharyya's family for comment were unsuccessful.

Anselment said police continue to investigate, although coming up with a motive might prove difficult because the only suspect is dead.

"Police have not established a motive in this case and cannot speculate as to who was the target of this attack -- Svetlana, Charles or both," Anselment said. "Detectives are continuing to investigate this incident by sorting through evidence and conducting interviews."

No record

Eagan police said that Bhattacharyya had no known criminal history and that officers hadn't had contact with him.

Police said he arrived at the house about 10 p.m. and walked to the front window. He fired the shotgun, hitting the couple, police said, then walked to a side yard and turned the shotgun on himself.

Anselment said the head wounds caused by the weapon were so extensive that identification was difficult.

But near the shooting site, in the 1300 block of Berry Ridge Road, police found Bhattacharyya's vehicle; the keys to the vehicle were in his pocket.

As a result, police spent Wednesday focusing on the Minneapolis home of the ex-husband, who was self-employed for the past three years.

Anselment said police are not looking for other suspects. She would not say what investigators were looking for during the search of the Minneapolis home, in the 600 block of NE. Fillmore Street.

Neighbors in Bhattacharyya's northeast Minneapolis neighborhood didn't see much of him. He'd come and go quickly, they said, waving a hand to acknowledge them.

"This is a quiet neighborhood," said Robert Watson, who lives across from Bhattacharyya. "Everybody pretty much keeps to themselves."

Others said he was a friendly neighbor who enjoyed the rewards of his success, driving motorcycles and his black BMW.

"He was always very cordial and an incredibly, incredibly kind young man," said Sarah ten Bensel, a neighborhood watch block leader who lives behind Bhattacharyya's home. She gasped upon hearing the news that her neighbor who always took care of his home and was friendly with neighbors was tied to the slayings. "I always liked that he was here because he stabilized the neighborhood, instead of just another rental."

ten Bensel said that Bhattacharyya had put his home on the market some time ago, but encountered trouble selling it. He told her about three weeks ago that if he couldn't sell it, he would consider taking it off the market, she said. Instead, he rented it out to friends and acquaintances while he frequently traveled for his schooling and internships.

She wasn't certain whether he was living at the home at the time of the slayings, adding that he never spoke much of his personal life, but was seen a few times with a young woman she presumed at first to be a girlfriend.

"You know, it had to be Svetlana," ten Bensel said. "She was a very, very good-looking woman."

The only police activity at Bhattacharyya's address was on Jan. 24, when he reported a burglary at the house.

Watson said he was shocked when he learned of his neighbor's alleged role. "It was hard to believe," he said. "I just saw him the other day."

The killings this week were the first in Eagan in more than a year, since another murder-suicide in April 2009 when a middle-age man killed his mother and then himself. Before that, the last murder in Eagan was in 2005, police said.

Domestic dramas

Charles and Svetlana Hanson had been married just over a year before they were shot. Both had finished with divorces last spring before being married in June 2009.

Charles Hanson had gone through a messy and bitter divorce, with the court record filled with dozens of pages of charges and countercharges of abuse and violence.

By contrast, Svetlana Hanson's divorce, completed in April 2009, appears to have been uneventful. There were no major disagreements over property, no claims of infidelity and no allegations of abuse or violence from either side, according to Hennepin County District Court documents.

Charles and Svetlana Hanson met in 2008 at Starkey Laboratories, an Eden Prairie hearing aid company, where Charles Hanson had worked as a software engineering manager since 2007. Svetlana Hanson applied to be a summer intern while she attended the University of Minnesota.

Mark Stipakov said his niece moved to Minnesota from Jerusalem in 2004 and had just graduated from the University of Minnesota with two degrees. He said that she was planning to find a job, and that she and Charles Hanson wanted to have more children.

Stipakov declined to discuss Robin Bhattacharyya.

Bhattacharyya also had a science background. On his Facebook page, he listed himself as a 1999 graduate of Maple Grove High School.

He wrote that he was a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota in computer science. He had a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's in computer engineering in 2005 from the university. Bhattacharyya also noted that he worked for Intel Corp. from 2005 through 2007.

ten Bensel said Bhattacharyya was constantly on the go with his studies, and seemed happy and intense. He was considering moving out to California, she said.

On his Facebook page, under favorite quotations, Bhattacharyya listed the following:

"Never stick your neck out to help an idiot because no matter how much an idiot may benefit at your expense, they will still be an idiot, and it will be impossible to convince an idiot, who is never sorry for anything, to apologize or ever make peace."

Staff writers Corey Mitchell and Rochelle Olson contributed to this report. Heron Marquez • 952-707-9994 Abby Simons • 612-673-4921