Woman kills boyfriend, self in Columbia

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By AMY LINDBLOM

A Columbia woman shot her boyfriend then turned the gun on herself, Tuolumne County Sheriff's investigators said.

The two were found yesterday morning in their home on the 24000 block of Italian Bar Road.

Trudy Elaine Story, 43, and Robert Martin Lowry, 60, apparently died from single gunshot wounds to their heads, Lt. John Steely said yesterday afternoon.

"The preliminary finding is consistent with a murder-suicide," he said.

A revolver found close to both bodies was most likely the weapon used, he said.

Investigators based their information on what they saw at the scene, but should know more such as when the shootings occurred after forensic autopsies that were to be done today in Stockton.

Deputies went to the couple's house about 9 a.m. yesterday after Story's sister, Judy Gibson of Columbia, called 911.

She told dispatchers Story and Lowry were lying on the floor in the same positions they had been seen in the day before by a relative, who thought they were asleep, authorities said.

Deputies had been at the house twice since January, according to sheriff's call logs.

On Jan. 9, Lowry's daughter called 911 to report Story as suicidal, and on March 2, Story herself called 911 during an argument.

The log shows a deputy spoke with both Lowry and Story, who were arguing because Lowry accused Story of being drunk. Story told the deputy the couple was "unhappy with each other."

Dave Hanford, a friend of Story and her sons, said he had heard the couple was having problems.

Their house is about four miles from Columbia Historic State Park. The area quickly filled with sheriff's deputies and investigators yesterday as they combed the 2-acre property for clues.

Contact Amy Lindblom at alindblom@uniondemocrat.com .

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The Union Democrat
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