Authorities keeping tight lid on Cole Camp investigation

Saturday, June 20, 2009 | 2:47 p.m. CDT; updated 6:05 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 20, 2009

SEDALIA — More than a week after police found the bodies of three family members slain in their rural Missouri home, investigators have released few details about the case.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Clark said information regarding potential suspects and other details, including whether items were stolen from the home, were being withheld to protect the investigation.

"We know the folks, or the person, who is responsible for that crime would be the only people with that knowledge," he said.

The bodies of Taron Luetjen, 15, and her grandparents — Donnie Luetjen, 64, and Sharon Luetjen, 61 — were found with gunshot wounds June 9 at their home in Cole Camp, a community of about 1,000 people about 115 miles southeast of Kansas City.

Rumors continue to circulate through Cole Camp and surrounding communities. Clark said the rumor mill tends to be more active when a crime like this happens in a smaller community.

"The rumor mill really doesn't hinder an investigation, per se, because we stay focused on the facts," he said.

More information about the case could bring relief to the community or family, "but at this time, it's just not beneficial to the investigation to release any more information," Clark said.

He said "the most important thing, first and foremost" was finding the person or people responsible.

More information would be released if a major development occurred in the case, Clark said.


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