MUNCIE, Ind. – Authorities have closed their investigation into a double murder-suicide in Muncie from earlier this year.
The Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office said it has reviewed the case and determined that Casey Ritchie shot and killed his daughter and her mother inside a home on Timothy Way in April before turning the gun on himself.
Police had made the initial determination days after the three deaths and referred the case to the prosecutor’s office, which said Tuesday that it had wrapped up its review.
Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said the evidence clearly showed that Casey Ritchie shot 43-year-old Denise Miles twice in the back. Fourteen-year-old Rylee Ritchie was shot twice in the chest. An autopsy found the cause of death for both was multiple gunshot wounds. Their deaths were ruled homicides.
After killing his daughter and her mother, Casey Ritchie killed himself, Hoffman wrote, “in a cowardly attempt to escape being held accountable for the heinous crimes that he committed.” Ritchie died from a single gunshot wound to the head. His death was ruled a suicide.
Investigators believe all three died between April 24 and April 27. Casey Ritchie is the sole suspect in the case.
Hoffman wrote that there had been much “discussion and debate” regarding a possible motive but would not comment further:
The investigation has uncovered some evidence as to Ritchie’s motive. However, given the fact that there is pending civil litigation, I will not comment or speculate on Casey Ritchie’s motive.
If Casey Ritchie had not killed himself, he would’ve faced two counts of murder. As he is now deceased, no charges will be filed and the case is “now officially closed,” Hoffman wrote.
Hoffman added the following:
I want to remind the public that every person has an absolute duty to report suspected child abuse and neglect. If you have reason to believe that a child may be the victim of child abuse or neglect, you must report that to either DCS or a local law enforcement agency. Failure to do so is a crime. Additionally, if a family member or friend manifests symptoms of mental illness, it is crucial that you take action to ensure that the friend or family member obtains the mental health treatment that they may need.