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Previous story Bethany man shoots and kills wife and nine-year-old son Next story

Story by Jim Maxey - The Oregon Herald
Published on Thursday November 12, 2009 - 1:01 PM
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BETHANY, Ore. – Suffering from depression, according to police, a Bethany man shot and killed his wife and nine-year-old son before killing himself, police said. Mukesh Suthar, his wife, Varsha and their son, Ronak, were found dead at the NW Oak Creek residence of the Bethany neighborhood. Police released the names to the media on Thursday.

Detectives said they believe that Mukesh shot his 39-year-old wife and his son, then shot himself with a handgun. All three were pronounced deceased at the scene. Chandubhai Suthar of San Jose, Calif. told the Oregonian newspaper that he was the father of Mukesh. He said he called authorities on Tuesday, Nov. 10, after not speaking with his family for a longer-than-usual period. On Wednesday evening, Thompson said all the evidence pointed to murder-suicide. People who knew the family that lived in the home, and claimed to be friends, told investigators that it was a family of three – a husband, wife and child. A forensic analysis would confirm the conclusive evidence, Thompson said, adding, “at this point it's clear that's what happened inside the house.”

Neighbors were shocked and described the community as very tight-knit. Tony Sipe, who lives nearby, noted that after four years in his home he found it to be a “very quiet neighborhood.” “It’s very quiet, middle class -- good people, lots of kids, lots of families, everybody looks out for each other,” he said. Another neighbor and friend of the victims said that the woman identified as Varsha was a hair stylist who ran her business at the house. She called their deaths “terrifying” and said everything about the family seemed normal. “I don't know what's going on or what went on with the family, but it's really unexpected and very shocking.”

Son Ronak Suther was a fourth-grader at Bethany Elementary School. Principal John Engel said Thursday that Ronak had been a student there since kindergarten and was friends with many students and staff. “This is a great kid,” Engel said. “He had a wonderful relationship with students and staff. It’s been a very difficult situation for everyone.”