Three dead were from the same family

Bodies found Friday afternoon in 2 locations

Two men and a woman whose bodies were found Friday afternoon in two locations were members of the same family, the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday.

Sheriff’s deputies found William Klatt Decker, 69, hanging in a barn at a farm on Colorado Highway 140, about a half mile north of the Colorado-New Mexico border and approximately five miles south of Redmesa, the Sheriff’s Office said in news releases Sunday.

Deputies were checking Decker’s house after receiving a call from a separate agency about 1:40 p.m. Friday reporting suspicious activities, said La Plata County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dan Bender.

While completing a welfare check on the rest of the property, investigators found the body of 40-year-old Robert Decker (also known as Duke), in a shallow grave on the property a short time later. Robert Decker was William Decker’s nephew, the release said Sunday

Robert Decker, also a resident of the farm, was found with his foot “protruding from freshly dug dirt” near a river bank, Bender said.

Based on information found at the farm, Sheriff’s Office investigators asked the Durango Police Department to conduct a welfare check on Billie Decker, 67, at her home on Riverview Drive.

Billie Decker, who is the mother of Robert Decker and the sister of William Decker, was dead in her home when the officers arrived, Durango Police Lt. Ray Shupe said Friday.

Police are investigating her death as a homicide, Shupe said.

Because Billie Decker’s death took place within city limits, the Durango Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office are completing separate investigations but are working closely on the case, Bender said.

Official causes of death have not yet been released, and autopsies are scheduled to take place over the next two days, Bender said.sw

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office will not release new information in the case until Monday, when the coroner’s results are expected to come in, he said.

Authorities do not believe there are other victims in the case or that the person responsible for the deaths is at large, Bender said.

A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the locations where William Klatt Decker and Robert D. Decker’s bodies were found. scook@durangoherald.com

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