South Lake Tahoe investigators rule deaths as murder-suicide

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE - Investigators ruled evidence points to a murder-suicide of a married couple in their 60s found dead in their home on Bruce Drive here.

The bodies of Stanley, 68, and Shirley Reinert were found fully clothed and wearing shoes, authorities said. Shirley, 69, was found in a hallway leading to the bedrooms. An autopsy revealed she died from a gunshot wound in the back of the head.

Stanley's body was in the kitchen. A small-caliber handgun was discovered underneath his body, indicating he was the shooter in both cases, authorities said.

Larry Olsen, coroner for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, said autopsies completed Tuesday revealed the two died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

There was no note, no sign of a struggle or forced entry, no indication the marriage was anything but happy and no reason to believe the couple was hit with bad news, such as a diagnosis of a terminal illness, before their death, according to police Detective Bryan Kuhlmann.

If he would have to guess, Kuhlmann said the shootings were spontaneous and not planned.

Aside from the scene of the crime, the rest of the house was "incredibly clean," Kuhlmann said.

Kuhlmann estimated about 15 family members, friends and neighbors were interviewed regarding the case. He is still working on a timeline. It is not known the time between their death and Saturday afternoon, when they were found, but the final autopsy report should provide such information.

The final autopsy report, including what, if anything, was in their bodies at the time of their death, is due in six to eight weeks.

A concerned daughter and neighbor checked on the Reinerts using a Hideakey to gain entry into the house, said Sgt. Jeff Regan. The investigation will continue.


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