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Death of Philomath couple ruled a murder-suicide

An investigation determined that Carl Rath killed his wife Merry Rath in an act of domestic violence, then killed himself.

Posted: Apr 21, 2021 8:09 AM
Updated: Apr 21, 2021 8:34 AM

PHILOMATH, Ore. -- The death of a Philomath couple in March has been declared a murder-suicide.

Philomath Police say their investigation determined that Carl Rath, 55, murdered his wife Merry Rath, 53, in an act of domestic violence. She died of multiple gunshot wounds.

The investigation also revealed that after killing his wife, Carl Rath sent several text messages to relatives and another acquaintance, informing them he had killed his wife. 

Carl Rath then committed suicide. The cause of his death was one self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

RELATED: TWO FOUND DEAD IN PHILOMATH

Philomath Police responded to a 911 hang-up call at 1284 N 19th St, #4 at 10:41 a.m. on March 7. When officers arrived and received no response from the occupants, they forced entry into the house and found the couple dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

Based on evidence at the scene, police began a criminal investigation which included the following:

• Crime scene investigation by the Oregon State Police Crime Laboratory.
• Death investigation by the Benton County Deputy Medical Examiner.
• Death investigation by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.
• Review of cellular phone data of both deceased individuals.
• Review of video tape evidence seized from nearby businesses and housing complexes.
• Interviews of numerous individuals, including relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors of the couple.

RELATED: GOFUNDME CREATED FOR KIDS OF PARENTS FOUND DEAD IN PHILOMATH

The Benton County District Attorney’s Office and the Philomath Police Department encourages anyone experiencing domestic violence to reach out for help. Locally, you can contact any law enforcement agency or the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) at 541-754-0110 or 1-800-927-0197 or https://cardv.org/.

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