Murder-suicide suspected in deaths

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office is investigating a possible murder-suicide that unfolded late last month outside of the Lake Don Pedro subdivision.

Sean Michael Russell, 21, formerly of Lake Don Pedro, was found dead June 24 at Negro Bar State Park in Folsom. He was being sought by Mariposa County authorities on suspicion of killing his wife days earlier.

A Lake Don Pedro resident found the body of Sean's wife, Tiffany J. Russell, 21, of Sacramento, in an open area near Hormiga Way on June 22 and reported it to the authorities.

An investigation by Mariposa County Sheriff's detectives led them to identify Sean Russell as the primary suspect in his wife's death, according to a sheriff's statement released last week.

An advisory was broadcast for surrounding law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Russell's Ford Ranger pickup truck, which was later found in a parking lot outside Negro Bar State Park.

Folsom police officers, Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies and a SWAT team searched the area and found Russell's body in the park.

The Sheriff's Office statement said it appeared Russell had committed suicide.

Sean Russell was raised in the Lake Don Pedro area and moved to Sacramento a year and a half ago where he worked as a warehouseman for a carpet recycling company, according to his family.

He had attended high school at Sonora, Tioga and Don Pedro before graduating from Sonora Union High School Adult Education in 2010.

His father, Mike Russell, who spent 25 years with the Tuolumne County Parks and Recreation Department, said the family's "hearts are absolutely crushed."

"It's a very tragic event," he said. "We loved both kids, but because of the circumstances, we'd like to keep this a private matter."

Mariposa County Sheriff Doug Binnewies said his office is still investigating the deaths and declined to release further details regarding the specific causes or any possible weapons used.

Tiffany Russell's family could not immediately be reached for comment.

11876368
The Union Democrat
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