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Published: Wednesday, 4/20/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

Autopsies on 5 killed in murder, suicide done


PORT CLINTON — Members of the Atwater family — the man who killed his family and then himself — each died from a single gunshot wound in the head, Dr. Jerome McTague, Ottawa County coroner, said Tuesday in statement.

Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the Atwaters' Leutz Road home just after midnight Saturday by Alan Atwater. In a brief 911 call, he calmly told the operator that his wife and three children were dead from gunshot wounds, he had killed them, and he was getting ready to kill himself.

Inside an upstairs bedroom at the Atwater home, 964 Leutz Rd. in Salem Township, authorities found the bodies of Atwater, his wife, Dawn, 30, and their children, Ashley, 4; Isaac, 2, and Brady, 1.

Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton said it appears all five were killed in the bedroom where they were found.

Dr. McTague in a news release said that autopsies were completed Tuesday on all family members, and that the findings were “consistent with evidence viewed on scene.”

Atwater worked full time at the Davis-Besse nuclear power station. His wife was a stay-at-home mother.

The sheriff’s office is continuing to investigate the deaths.

 "We're hoping once we get the [Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation] agents to sit down with us now that the coroner is finished, maybe we can try to put some things together," Sheriff Bratton said.

 The sheriff's office is attempting to learn what prompted the deadly spree.

"We are as baffled as the family," Sheriff Bratton said.

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