Police: Turlock man killed parents before he and brother died in fire

08/05/2014 3:20 PM

08/05/2014 11:27 PM

Detectives have wrapped up their investigation into the deaths of four people in a northwest Turlock home in June and say a man killed his parents before he and his brother died in a fire.

Investigators believe Rodney Bowman, 39, fatally stabbed his parents, Rozmary Babakhan, 70, and Sarkis Babakhan, 78. Bowman, born Radni Babakhan, and his brother, Robert Babakhan, 42, died of exposure to smoke and toxic chemicals from a fire Bowman later set, Lt. Nino Amirfar said Tuesday.

A relative found the bodies of the couple and their two adult children in the family’s Red Oak Court home June 26. The relative had become concerned after not hearing from the family for an extended period of time, authorities said.

The bodies apparently had been in the house for some time, authorities said after the discovery, and the warm Central Valley weather contributed to accelerated decomposition.

Turlock firefighters also investigated because of what police called “an element of arson.” Though there was evidence of fire damage in the house when officers entered, there was not an active fire, police said previously.

Amirfar said Tuesday that there was enough of a fire to cause the deaths, but it extinguished itself before spreading enough for neighbors to see it.

Amirfar said it wasn’t clear how long the family had been dead before the bodies were found.

The parents suffered multiple stab wounds, Amirfar said. Police termed the death of Robert Babakhan, who was disabled, as unintentional. It was not clear if Bowman intended to kill himself.

Police initially had tentatively classified the incident as a murder-suicide.

When the bodies were discovered, neighbors said they were shocked to hear of the deaths, describing the parents as loving people.

Investigators have not determined a motive.

“That’s something we may never know – why,” Amirfar said.

With the findings, the investigation is concluded, he said.

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