Man, 81, accused of ‘gruesome’ murders of wife, daughter with ax

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:34 AM EDT
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (Gray News) - An 81-year-old Colorado man is facing first-degree murder charges after police say he confessed to killing his wife and adult daughter.

Reginald Maclaren, 81, called police just after 6 p.m. Saturday to report his wife and adult daughter had been murdered, according to a police press release. He said he believed he knew the suspect and that they had used a hammer.

Officers responded to Reginald Maclaren’s apartment, where they found two victims in large trash cans in the living room and kitchen area. Both victims had substantial injuries and showed no signs of life, the press release said.

The victims were identified in an arrest affidavit as 70-year-old Bethany Maclaren and 35-year-old Ruth Jennifer Maclaren, The Denver Post reports.

Police say investigators determined both victims were killed with an ax, and one of them was dismembered with a saw.

“Some of our detectives have been detectives for 20 years, and they described this as one of the most gruesome crime scenes that they’ve ever been a part of,” said Englewood Police Division Chief Tracy Jones at a news conference Tuesday.

Detectives established probable cause to arrest Reginald Maclaren on first-degree murder charges, according to the press release. Jones said the 81-year-old eventually confessed after speaking with detectives.

KUSA reports that Reginald Maclaren told detectives he killed his family because he lost his job, had no money left for rent and did not want them to be homeless, according to the arrest affidavit. He allegedly told police he “does not regret” the murders of his family because he “knows they are in a better place,” the affidavit said.

Reginald Maclaren is expected to appear in court sometime this week.