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Victims identified in apparent murder-suicide

Huntington Beach couple had been in court for divorce hearing day before, records indicate.

December 21, 2011|By Michael Miller

The victims of an apparent murder-suicide Dec. 14 in Huntington Beach have been identified as a married couple who were going through a divorce.

Huntington Beach Police Sgt. Chad Nichols said the victims were Robert Saltarelli, 55, and his wife, Tonie, 56.

Police still believed the deaths were a murder-suicide but did not know who pulled the trigger, he said.

Orange County Superior Court records show that the couple was involved in a divorce case and had a hearing scheduled the day before the shootings.

The Saltarellis were found shortly after 5 a.m. in a house in the 8800 block of Jarrett Circle after police received a call to check on their welfare, Nichols said.

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He did not know the reason for the call.

"My understanding is there were no gunshots heard by anyone," Nichols said.

Officers were unable to enter the home because it was locked, but a family member, who was not present at the time of the deaths, let them in later. The couple were found inside with gunshot wounds.

"We're not seeking any other suspects at this time," he said. "It looks to be what we thought initially, just a murder-suicide."

michael.miller@latimes.com

Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

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