By Steve Quinn
JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - Investigators have determined that four members of an Alaska family, whose remains were discovered in March after being reported missing a year ago, died in a murder-suicide, police said on Wednesday.
Brandon Jividen, 37, fatally shot his girlfriend, Rebecca Adams, 23, and her children, Michelle and Jaracca Hundley, before turning the gun on himself, Kenai police said in a statement.
“The motive for the crime is less clear and for us to say exactly why it happened would only be speculative,” the department statement said.
The couple and Adams’ daughters, ages 3 and 5, and their dog were reported missing in May 2014 from their home in Kenai, 65 miles southwest of Anchorage.
The disappearance puzzled relatives and neighbors because the family left behind automobiles, children’s car seats and camping gear. There was no sign of forced entry into the family apartment, whose doors were found locked.
In March, police and the FBI confirmed that the remains of Jividen and Adams were among four human bodies and that of a dog discovered in a depression just off a trail less than a half mile from the couple’s home.
They also found a gun with a serial number that matched a gun box in the family’s home.
On Wednesday, police said there were two handguns near the bodies, both close to Jividen’s body. Investigators found five spent shell casings, police said.
The Alaska Dispatch News published a statement from the Jividen family, saying: “These acts are unthinkable, unimaginable and not consistent with father, son, brother and friend that so many of us knew and loved.”
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Bill Trott)