Names of 2 dead in apparent Gardiner murder-suicide released

2014-03-27T22:19:00Z 2014-03-31T11:40:05Z Names of 2 dead in apparent Gardiner murder-suicide releasedGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.:  The Park County Sheriff's Office has identified two people found dead after an apparent murder-suicide on Thursday in Gardiner as Steve A. Cole, 63, and Debi J. Roberts, 59.

Undersheriff Scott Hamilton said that autopsies of Cole and Roberts, both of Gardiner, will begin at 1 p.m. in Bozeman.

"We're hoping that it will confirm what we believe to be the cause of death," he said.

Hamilton did not indicate what investigators believe is the cause of death for the two.

Authorities found Cole dead on Thursday evening at Roberts' home. Roberts was critically wounded and died at the scene a short time later, according to the sheriff's office.

The Park County Sheriff's Office is investigating a possible murder-suicide after Park County deputies and Yellowstone Park Rangers responded to a home in Gardiner Thursday afternoon to find one man dead and a woman in critical condition. The woman later died at the scene, according to a press release. 

Yellowstone National Park dispatch received a call on Thursday about 4:30 p.m. from a female reporting a man breaking into her home. She reported that the male had already fired shots at her.

The caller reported the man by name. The press release stated that they had previously been in a relationship, according to initial reports. 

The man was deceased when officers arrived on the scene, and the woman was in critical condition. Emergency responders tried to save the woman, but she died soon after.

The preliminary findings, according to the press release, indicate a murder-suicide. 

The man had a previous charge of domestic violence.

A dispatcher for Park County said more information would be available Friday morning. 

An autopsy is also scheduled for Friday.

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