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Deputies Investigate Condon Death

February 17, 2012

By Jessica Debbas

RIDDLE, Ore. — Douglas County investigators say Stephanie Condon’s father, Martin, shot and killed himself Wednesday night.

The death happened inside the family’s Riddle home, now about three years after Stephanie’s body was found.

The Condon house has been surrounded by crime scene tape for the past two days.

Investigators are still trying to find out exactly what happened inside when Martin shot himself.

Those who knew the Condons say they were an all-American family.

“Everybody liked them. Marty just had a sense of humor that would just blow you away,” said neighbor Mike Hanks.

But friends say once Martin’s daughter Stephanie went missing in 1998 and her remains were found a decade later, he changed, especially after her accused murderer Dale Hill walked away a free man.

“Marty just felt that he got a raw deal and I think he thought he let his daughter down at that point,” Hanks said.

On Wednesday, Douglas County sheriff deputies responded to the Condon’s home after Martin’s wife Christine called 9-1-1 and reported Martin shot himself.

“Attempted CPR and that was not successful, Martin Condon died at the scene,” said Dwes Hutson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say after working with the family 10-plus years during Stephanie’s investigation, they developed a close relationship with the Condons. But they say they are treating this death investigation like a separate, new case.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with the work we are doing now. It’s a death investigation and investigators are going to do the same work that they would do a person’s house they didn’t’ know,” Hutson said.

But the death hits close to home for many Riddle residents who followed the Condons’ story all this time.

Riddle residents say the Condons kind of withdrew from the community.

Those who stood by the family’s side throughout the tragic ordeal say the pain of having a child murdered might have just been too much to bare.

“He didn’t really want to talk about it, and he kept it inside. I think if someone would have got that out of him, this might not have happened,” Hanks said.

Investigators say they aren’t ruling this a suicide until all the evidence is looked at thoroughly.

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