Remains of 5 bodies found in burned home in western Oregon

AP News
Posted: Jan 05, 2017 7:09 PM

HUBBARD, Ore. (AP) — Authorities investigating fires that appear to have been deliberately set in rural western Oregon have recovered the remains of five people.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that detectives confirm the remains are of a man, a woman and three children. They were found over the last two days in the smoldering debris, and the bodies appear consistent with that of a family which owns the property, the sheriff's office said.

The medical examiner will confirm the identities. The sheriff's office said it does not believe there is a danger to the public.

Investigators are trying to determine what took place in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, when firefighters found a home, a shop and detached garage ablaze. The property is near the town of Hubbard amid hop farms in the Willamette Valley off Interstate 5, between Portland and Salem.

Each of the fires ignited separately, sheriff's Lt. Chris Baldridge had said, describing the case as a criminal investigation.

The residence belonged to Erin Kroeker, 39 and Keith Kroeker, 42, and their three children.

Neighbor Michelle Palacios said the family has been there for years, their children attending local schools, the Woodburn Independent newspaper reported.

"We've always been neighborly ... we've gone to each other's jewelry parties, we've exchanged Christmas cookies," Palacios was quoted as saying. "This is just bizarre."