Police suspect murder-suicide after elderly Utah siblings found dead in apartment

Police suspect murder-suicide after elderly Utah siblings found dead in apartment

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ST. GEORGE — St. George police believe the shooting deaths of a brother and sister in their late 60s inside the apartment they shared was a murder-suicide.

Shandra Lee Brownstein, 67, and Stanley Thomas McCausland, 68, along with Brownstein's dog were found dead in their St. George apartment on May 9 after the property manager conducted a welfare check. Investigators believe the siblings may have been dead for a week, said St. George police officer Tiffany Atkin.

"It was reported that Shandra was (lying) in bed while Stanley was (lying) on a gun," according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 5th District Court. "Initial witness statements said that neither Shandra or Stanley had been seen in a couple of days. … The property manager said they entered the residence because they had not received rent the last two months and had placed an eviction notice on the door. Furthermore, Stanley's home care provider said they had not been contacted by Stanley in a few days, which was uncommon for him."

Atkin said the siblings both had health problems, and Brownstein was looking to move into a care center because of health-related issues. But when she missed an appointment with a care center representative, the property manager was contacted, she said.

Investigators believe McCausland shot his sister and her dog in her bed, and then himself. Four shotgun shell casings and a Mossberg 870 shotgun were recovered from the apartment, a return to the warrant states.

"There's an apartment below them and on each side of them, and no one heard anything," Atkin noted.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.

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