DA concludes family found dead in Hubbard house fire was murder- - KPTV - FOX 12

DA concludes family found dead in Hubbard house fire was murder-suicide by father

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Investigators determined Keith Kroeker killed his family and then himself at their home in the Hubbard area in January. (Family photo/KPTV) Investigators determined Keith Kroeker killed his family and then himself at their home in the Hubbard area in January. (Family photo/KPTV)
Investigators at the scene in Hubbard where five bodies were found in a burned home in January. (KPTV/Air 12) Investigators at the scene in Hubbard where five bodies were found in a burned home in January. (KPTV/Air 12)
HUBBARD, OR (KPTV) -

A man shot and killed his three children and his wife before turning the gun on himself as their house burned down in the Hubbard area, according the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

The district attorney concluded a seven-month investigation Friday and determined 43-year-old Keith Kroeker was solely responsible for the murders of his family.

The case began early in the morning on Jan. 3. Emergency crews responded to a report of a house fire and burning barn on the 18900 block of Fobert Road Northeast.

Numerous fire agencies worked to put out multiple fires on the three-acre lot.

The fires burned for hours as firefighting efforts were complicated due to downed electrical wires, unstable structures and severe cold weather.

Four bodies were recovered from the home the following day. A fifth body was discovered Jan. 5.

The bodies were identified as Kroeker, his wife Erin Kroeker, 39, and their children, 7-year-old Leia Kroeker, 10-year-old Luke Kroeker and 10-year-old Braedon Kroeker.

Autopsies revealed the children all died of shotgun wounds to the head. Leia Kroeker had also been strangled. They were in their bedrooms when they were killed.

The medical examiner reported the children’s bodies showed no signs of smoke inhalation before their deaths.

Erin Kroeker’s cause of death was blunt force head trauma that was determined to be homicidal violence, according to the medical examiner.

Keith Kroeker shot himself in the head. Erin and Keith Kroeker’s bodies did show signs of smoke inhalation before they died.

The mother and children were all wearing “bed clothes,” according to investigators. Keith Kroeker was dressed in blue jeans, a thermal shirt and work boots.

A 12-gauge, slide-action shotgun was located at the bottom of the stairs in the house. Keith Kroeker’s body was found at the top of the stairs.

Investigators said fires had been set in the home, as well as a detached garage and a detached barn. Cut up pieces of hose were discovered between the barn and the home, and gasoline or other flammable liquid was smelled at the scene.

Additionally, investigators determined a car had been intentionally driven through a set of double doors into the daylight basement of the family’s home, which added to the intensity of the fire.

Part of the main floor of the home fell into the daylight basement due to the fire.

Multiple search warrants and subpoenas were served in connection with the investigation. Friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors were interviewed and detectives tracked the cell phones of Keith and Erin Kroeker.

After reviewing all the evidence, it was determined Kroeker was solely responsible for the killings.

The Marion County District Attorney’s Office reported Friday that the case is now closed.

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