Investigators in Idaho slayings have few clues

Sunday, May 22, 2005

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- Authorities have completed the crime scene investigation of a home where three people were beaten to death, but they had few clues about the disappearance of two children from the home.

Authorities said they have few clues in the case. Dylan James Groene, 9, and his sister, Shasta Kay Groene, 8, were last seen May 15 at their rural home near Coeur d'Alene.

The next evening, their mother, Brenda Kay Groene, 40, their 13-year-old brother, Slade Vincent Groene, and the mother's boyfriend, Mark Edward McKenzie, 37, were discovered bound and bludgeoned to death in the white cinderblock home.

Searches of about 400 acres of brush and woods near the house wrapped up Thursday, and divers used their hands to feel the bottoms of nearby ponds and streams.

"They're confident there's nothing more here," Wolfinger said. "Ground crews are 100 percent certain the children are not here."

Investigators Friday finished their crime scene investigation at the home where the bodies were found.

Kootenai County Coroner Dr. Robert West told Spokane, Wash., said preliminary toxicology results indicated the presence of "illicit drugs" in the two adults, but not in the 13-year-old. He did not elaborate.

Detectives contacted everyone known to have attended a barbecue at the home last Sunday, and detectives were taking statements from them, Wolfinger said. He declined to say how many were questioned, or what was learned.

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