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Family's deaths stun village in Greene County

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By Adam Brandolph
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011
 

Neighbors, family members and police continue to search for reasons why a Greene County man killed his recently estranged wife and two children before taking his own life.

"We're hoping the autopsies will be able to tell us some kind of story," said Greene County Coroner Gregory Rohanna, a friend of the family. "There doesn't seem to be any indications ... that this was forthcoming."

State Trooper Bart Lemansky was among the officers called to check on the family about 10:10 p.m. Sunday. When he and other troopers arrived, they found Kevin Teagarden, 42, his wife, Tammy, 40, and their children, Madison, 8, and Kevin Jr., 22 months, dead inside their home on Chartiers Road in Morgan Township. The home is just outside the village of Mather, about 9 miles east of Waynesburg.

"It's absolutely horrifying," Lemansky said.

Police recovered a gun they believe Kevin Teagarden, a self-employed carpenter with no criminal history, used to kill his family and himself, Lemansky said. Rohanna said each died of a single gunshot wound.

News of the deaths reverberated in Mather, population 2,600, where residents stopped to talk while getting mail at the post office or along the road near the family's bungalow-style home. The community consists of mostly older residents and has strong ties to coal mining. A memorial honoring 194 people killed in a coal mine explosion in 1928 is in the center of the village.

"I just saw (Tammy) last week with the kids," said Relda Litten, Kevin Teagarden's step-aunt and Morgan Township secretary. "Everything seemed to be fine. This was a total shock."

Police believe the slayings occurred between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday. A co-worker called a member of the Teagarden family when Tammy Teagarden was late for her ride to work the midnight shift at Mylan Pharmaceuticals in Morgantown, W.Va. The family member went to the home and called police after seeing what appeared to be a body on the kitchen floor, Lemansky said.

Superintendent Donna Furnier of the Jefferson-Morgan School District said grief counselors will be available for students. Neighbors said Madison was a third-grader at Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School.

Yesterday afternoon, friends placed a teddy bear and flowers by the family's mailbox at the end of a long driveway that runs parallel with the road. A pit bull mix waited on the back deck for its owners to come back.

"It's really a shame," Litten said. "I can't understand how someone could do that."

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