Colo. Dad Allegedly Killed Wife and Daughter with Ax, Claimed He Lost Job and Feared Homelessness

Reginald Maclaren, 81, is accused of murdering his wife and daughter with an ax, then stuffing their bodies into trash cans

Reginald Maclaren, an 81-year-old Colorado man accused of killing his wife and daughter with an axe
Reginald Maclaren. Photo: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office via AP

Authorities arrested a Colorado man for allegedly murdering his wife and daughter with an ax after he said he lost his job and was afraid for his family to experience homelessness.

Arapahoe County court records indicate Reginald Maclaren has been charged with first-degree murder.

According to the Englewood Police Department, Maclaren, 81, is accused of murdering his wife and daughter with an ax, and then stuffing their bodies into individual trash cans in their Englewood, Colo., living room.

Police say one of the victims was also dismembered with a saw.

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Citing the arrest affidavit, The Denver Post identified the victims as Bethany Maclaren, 70, and Ruth Jennifer Maclaren, 35.

According to a police news release, Maclaren allegedly called 911 on Saturday to report the killings. But he allegedly told police he knew the suspect and that the person who killed them used a hammer.

During the investigation, however, police said they developed enough probable cause to arrest Maclaren.

Citing court documents, the Associated Press reports Maclaren allegedly confessed to killing his wife and daughter, claiming he did so because he recently lost his job working at a company where he often interacted with individuals experiencing homelessness.

Unable to pay rent, he feared homelessness, the outlet reports.

Maclaren allegedly told police he "knows they [his wife and daughter] are in a better place" and didn't regret their killings.

KMGH-TV reports Maclaren said he "knew what a miserable life that [homelessness] was."

According to the AP, Maclaren was assigned a public defender, whose office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. It's unclear if Maclaren has entered a plea to the charges.

He is scheduled to make a court appearance April 3.

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