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The two sisters of Iowa state representative Mary Wolfe appear to be the victim of a double homicide. What happened?

Mary Wolfe is a state representative in Iowa and on Friday, two of her sisters — there are eight children in the family total — were found dead in a house they share in Pittsburgh. An official cause of death hadn’t been released, but it appears the sisters were shot. Susan Wolfe, one of the deceased sisters, was a teacher’s aide in Pittsburgh. The day before the bodies were found, she left school at 5pm, saying she had an appointment at 5:30pm. She didn’t show up the next day, which eventually triggered a search. Sarah Wolfe, the other deceased sister, was a psychiatrist at the Western Psychiatric Institute; her car was found about a mile from the house on Saturday.

Details are sparse, but here’s one more:

Shortly after moving to East Liberty, Sarah Wolfe’s house was burglarized. She contacted Ms. Carter for advice on replacing a broken pane of glass. Ms. Carter said she counseled her former tenant to get an alarm system but does not know if she followed through with her suggestion.

One of the sisters had a boyfriend, but he doesn’t seem to be a suspect:

Her boyfriend, Matthew Buchholz, of Bloomfield, posted a message on Facebook calling her a “beautiful, brilliant funny woman who worked as a children’s psychiatrist and was an old school riot ‘grrrl.’…This whole thing is unimaginably sad.”

A man who answered the door at Mr. Buchholz’s home Saturday said he did not wish to talk. Lt. Herrmann said Mr. Buchholz is cooperating. “We’re not keying in on him as a suspect.”

I’m not a cop or a detective and have no idea what I’m discussing, really … but my first thought upon reading the basic, sparse details is that I hope this has no ties to the psychiatric facility and someone leaving it. That would be awful and re-shift the already-fraught mental health debate in America (and rightfully so, because how we handle mental health isn’t great by any means). The other thing I’d say/guess/postulate is that no one really parks their car 1 mile from their house, so something involving the car has to be important (perhaps fingerprints). If they can figure out time of death — i.e. was it around the time of this 5:30pm appointment on Thursday — and get something off the car, it seems this could be solved in the early part of this week. Here’s hoping.

Ted Bauer

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