Four found dead near Parkville in murder-suicide

The Platte County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating an apparent triple murder-suicide that left four people dead in Thousand Oaks near Parkville over the weekend.

Platte County sheriff Mark Owen announced Monday that the killer, who committed suicide, was Douglas Pauling, 50. It is believed he killed his mother, Sharmalee Pauling, 73; her husband of only two weeks, Carl Deruyscher, 66; and the mother of Pauling’s 14-year-old daughter, Margaret Girard, 49.

The daughter, who was the lone survivor in the house, called 911 at around 9:15 p.m. Sunday, June 10, stating her father had a gun and had shot her grandmother. Frightened and disoriented, the girl was at first unable to tell police where she was. The girl fled the house and met up with officers, who called in the county SWAT team, believing an armed shooter could be at large.

Parkville police as well as the Missouri Highway Patrol responded to the scene, followed by South Platte Fire Protection District and ambulances.

 CODY THORN/Citizen photo Platte County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeffrey Shanks talks with another deputy near the crime scene where four dead bodies were discovered in the early morning hours of Monday, June 11 in the 14000 block of NW 63rd Street in Parkville.

CODY THORN/Citizen photo
Platte County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeffrey Shanks talks with another deputy near the crime scene where four dead bodies were discovered in the early morning hours of Monday, June 11 in the 14000 block of NW 63rd Street in Parkville.

According to Platte County Sgt. Jeffrey Shanks, SWAT entered and cleared the home, finding four people dead inside. The girl was taken into protective custody until other family could arrive and was not considered a suspect.

“The 14-year-old physically is okay, but mentally we’re trying to help her,” Owen said Monday. “She’s just in shock.”

According to reports, the girl and her mother were visiting Sharmalee Pauling and her new husband for a family dinner. The couple was married Saturday, May 26 in Leavenworth, Kan. Both were previously widowed.

It is unclear what happened, but Douglas Pauling, who lived nearby, arrived sometime that night armed with a gun.

According to the 911 call, which was released shortly after the incident, the girl said her father had shot her grandmother in the dining room and had taken a shot at her before she fled. All four bodies were found in the kitchen and dining room area.