Sheriff identifies four people found dead in Parkville home


Investigators continued to look for evidence hours after responding officers found four people dead at a Platte County home on the night of June 10. (Photo: Ron Kirsch)

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PARKVILLE, Mo. — Not far from a quadruple murder-suicide scene, people on a quiet cul-de-sac say they’re shocked by the death of one of their own. That’s because one of the murder victims has been their neighbor for the last four years, and the surviving teenager is her daughter.

The investigation is happening in a neighborhood near NW 63rd Street and N. Nevada Avenue, police responded to a home just after 9 p.m. on Sunday.

On Monday morning authorities identified Sharmalee Pauling, 73, Carl Deruyscher, 66, Margaret Girard, 49, and Douglas Pauling, 50, as the four people found dead in the home. The case is being investigated as a murder-suicide according to Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen.

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Police say one of the victims has been their neighbor for the last four years, and the surviving teenager is her daughter. 49-year-old Maggie Girard has been a fixture of the close-knit block for four years. The divorced mother was raising her daughter with plans to send her to Paris this summer on a school trip.

One neighbor told FOX4’s John Pepitone that she talked to the surviving teen following the shooting. The girl described a dispute at her grandparents’ house — the scene of the crime. The neighbor said the girl described her father, 50-year-old Doug Pauling, as being upset and armed with a gun. The neighbor said the girl told her she witnessed her father shooting her mother and grandmother, 73-year-old Sharmalee Pauling.

“I just… I am devastated. I’m devastated. You know she used to bring me flowers. She would bring me flowers. She would go buy her then she would go buy me one, too. For no reason. For no reason,” neighbor Wilma Vandebrink said.

The girl told a neighbor her father tried to come after her, but she managed to escape from the home.

“For me to even think he was going after his own daughter that’s just unacceptable,” said Terrie Higgins, who lives near Doug Pauling. “She was a good girl, did not do anything wrong. She was fixing to go to Paris for some school function.”

Neighbors added that they believe the third victim was the teen’s step-grandfather, 66-year-old Carl Deruyscher. The girl told a neighbor he went back in the house to try to calm her father down.

The sheriff said after shooting Deruyscher, the girl’s father took his own life.

Girard is described as a people person. She was the welcome wagon on the block, often going around to each home with a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. Neighbors say they plan to hold a candlelight vigil for her and her daughter.

As for the girl’s father, he was not as well- known by neighbors where the couple lived. One told me after the couple divorced, he became more of a recluse, and kept to himself.

FOX4 will continue to follow developments with this story.

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