March 4, 2013 in Idaho

One dead, one hospitalized in St. Maries murder-suicide attempt

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Map of this story's location

An Idaho State Police officer who came across a vehicle flashing its emergency lights on state Highway 3 early Sunday morning found a woman with her throat slit, prompting a hunt for her husband that ended in his suicide.

Benewah County Sheriff Dave Resser said Mary McGreal, 44, was bleeding profusely from her neck in the front seat of the vehicle but was alive and able to speak to the police officer. She was taken to Benewah Community Hospital and eventually flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Resser said she is in serious condition but is expected to survive.

The patrol officer spotted the McGreals’ vehicle pulled over on Highway 3, about a mile and a half south of St. Maries, just before 2 a.m. Sunday.

Sheriff’s deputies began searching for 49-year-old Kurt McGreal.

They arrived at the couple’s Aspen Lane residence to find streaks of blood on the home near the main door.

“As we entered we were hit by a large cloud of smoke,” Resser said.

The deputies were searching for McGreal, Resser said, but also for Mary McGreal’s 9-year-old daughter.

Deputies located Kurt McGreal on the floor of a room in the house.

Resser said McGreal had tried to cut his own throat, and then started a fire in the house before shooting himself in the head with a .22 semi-automatic handgun.

McGreal was alive when deputies entered the home, the sheriff said, but died before he was transported to a hospital.

The 9-year-old girl, who lived in the home, was with her biological father at the time of the attempted murder-suicide, Resser said, and did not witness any of the incidents.

At this point in the investigation, it’s unclear how McGreal got to the home more than a mile from where he left his wife, although he likely walked, Resser said.

It’s also unclear how long Mary McGreal sat in the vehicle before the police officer arrived.

Resser said the couple attended a benefit for someone in the St. Maries community Saturday evening and it is unknown when they left the event or if they went home before Mary McGreal’s throat was slit.

Kurt McGreal had no criminal history, Resser said, and deputies had never been called to their house.

A motive in the case has not been determined.

“All we can go by is assumption,” Resser said.

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