Although the circumstances that led to police discovering the bodies of Kacey Heberlein and Chris Bankert in a Castle Rock home (see our previous coverage below) suggested a murder-suicide scenario, authorities in the community declined to provide details until an autopsy was completed. Now, however, the Douglas County coroner's office has confirmed that both Heberlein and Bankert died from gunshot wounds; he shot her before taking his own life.
As we noted, police were initially dispatched to a residence owned by Bankert located on the 4000 block of Old Windmill Way in Castle Rock after Heberlein failed to show up for a meeting with a family friend on Saturday.
When no one answered at the house, officers withdrew -- but they returned early Sunday morning and evidence on the scene prompted the deployment of a SWAT team. Upon entry, however, law enforcers found the bodies of Heberlein and Bankert, who were reportedly sweethearts from their days at Bear Creek High School.
Heberlein's Facebook page, which reveals that the couple became engaged in 2010, features a profile pic of her wearing a Colorado Avalanche sweater....
...and her Twitter account is devoted to Avs news. Her fandom was noted online via condolence tweets like this one....
A somber tweet tonight: we lost a loyal reader and a kind soul. RIP Kacey Heberlein, the 2PS community lost a great member.
— Two Pad Stack (@2PSBlog) October 28, 2014
...and this one:
— Casey Lucas (@CaseyDownUnder) October 27, 2014
Meanwhile, a relative of Bankert's posted this photo....
...as a remembrance of a young man whose final act was shocking and tragic.
Our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Kacey Heberlein.
Continue to see our previous coverage of the deaths of Kacey Heberlein and Chris Bankert, including additional photos. Original post, 5:39 a.m. October 27: Police have not confirmed that a man and a woman found dead in a Castle Rock home died as the result of a crime, and neither has the couple been officially identified. However, a media reports reveal their identity as Kacey Herberlein, 23, and Chris Bankert, 26, described as former high school sweethearts. Moreover, the discovery of their bodies was prompted by welfare checks following what's described by one source as a "suspicious incident.
The stations note that police were called after Herberlein missed a meeting with a family friend -- something 7News characterizes as a "suspicious incident."
No one answered the first time officers stopped by. However, they returned a second time on Sunday morning, and evidence on the scene prompted them to dispatch a SWAT team and issue an alert for people in the immediate vicinity to stay inside their homes.
Shortly thereafter, the bodies of a 26-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were found inside.
An autopsy is scheduled for today, after which the couple will be identified -- and thus far, authorities haven't said if one or more of the deaths came as a result of foul play. However, a family member told 9News that Bankert and Herberlein are both dead, and police say there's no danger to the community. This last line is frequently used in murder-suicide scenarios.
The profile pic on Hebelein's Facebook page features her wearing a Colorado Avalanche sweater, and most of her photos show her with animals and kids like those we've cropped out of this photo:
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As for Bankert, his Facebook page is private. But it does feature this photo: Bankert and Herberlein are said to have met when they were students at Bear Creek High School. Herberlein's Facebook page also references studies at Arapahoe Community College Foundation. The "About" section states that she resides in Littleton, but information obtained by 9News points out that she was living with Bankert.
Our condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of the victim or victims in this tragic incident.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.