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Retired Deputy Kills Children, Self

A retired sheriff´s deputy shot to death his five-year-old daughter and his three teen-age stepchildren before killing himself in an affluent suburb of Merced.

Authorities say John Hogan was found dead in a bedroom with his daughter, Michelle, in his arms. They say he also killed his estranged wife´s 14-year-old and 15-year-old sons, Stuart and Stanley Willis, and her 17-year-old daughter Melanie Willis.

Hogan was estranged from his wife, Christine McFadden, and was a deputy with the Santa Clara County sheriff´s office for ten years until 1993.

The Merced County sheriff´s office says McFadden left the house at 6 a-m for a morning run and returned an hour later to find her 17-year-old daughter dead in a hallway. McFadden told deputies Hogan was not in the house when she left.

Authorities say the motive is unclear.