Autopsy finds Callaway couple each died of single gunshot wounds

Saturday, January 12, 2008 | 3:20 p.m. CST; updated 6:39 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

COLUMBIA — Autopsy reports revealed a receptionist at Fulton City Hall and her husband, a Fulton police detective, both died as a result of single gunshot wounds on Thursday morning, according to a news release from the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department.

Scene investigations and a preliminary autopsy report show Lt. Richard McKee was shot while asleep in bed at his home on County Road 407, about 5 miles south of Fulton. Lorie (Rentschler) McKee was found lying next to her husband with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, holding a telephone used to call 911 and a weapon, according to the release.

The sheriff’s department said the couple may have been experiencing financial problems and marital issues, though the investigation is ongoing.

The Fulton Police Department has been grieving since it received the news.

“The murder of Lt. McKee has been devastating,” Police Chief Steve Myers of the Fulton Police Department said Friday. “We’ve all grieved deeply over the last 36 hours.”

McKee had been with the department since 1991 and was a well-known officer in mid-Missouri. He served on several major case squads and was squad commander on many cases, Myers said. McKee was in charge of the detectives bureau.

Myers described McKee as a good officer willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in the department.

“He assisted everyone with any case, problem or idea,” Myers said. “It will be a tremendous task to try and replace him.”

His wife previously had worked as a receptionist in the department, which is how the couple met, Myers said. She then went to work for the city of Fulton.

Since the incident, the department has been receiving support from the Fulton community and law enforcement agencies all over Missouri. Community members have made phone calls, sent sympathy cards and brought food for the officers.

“The outpouring from the community and other law enforcement agencies is overwhelming,” Myers said.

No funeral arrangements have been made. Myers said the bodies would be released over the weekend and arrangements for a possible officer’s funeral may be discussed.

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