June 17 2021
11:01 PM
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  MURDER   Suicide  

Story by Bennett Hall - Story Source
Published on Tuesday March 9, 2021 - 12:19 AM
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Philomath police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide that happened Sunday morning at the Forest Meadows manufactured home park.

According to a news release issued Monday by the Philomath Police Department, Officer Brandon Thurman went to 1284 NW 19th St., No. 4, to investigate a 911 hangup call that came in at 10:41 a.m. Sunday and got no response when he knocked on the door. After a Benton County sheriff's deputy arrived as backup, the two officers kicked in the door of the residence to check on the occupants.

Inside, they found two people dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

The two have been identified as a married couple, Carl Anthony Rath, 55, and Merry Gay Rath, 53.

The official cause of death will be determined by an autopsy, but police believe the incident was a murder-suicide.

"There's not a third suspect at large and no one in custody," Police Chief Ken Rueben said. "We believe one of the parties shot the other and then committed suicide."

Rueben said the department has no record of police ever having been called to the address before, and neither of the deceased appears to have had a history of domestic violence.

Philomath police are working with the Benton County District Attorney's Office and the Benton County Major Crimes Team on the investigation. The Corvallis Police Department, Benton County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police are providing assistance.