Just two bodies, but many more questions
Their house is in foreclosure, their car repossessed, Robert and Rebecca Barr reportedly came to South Lake Tahoe because they liked it here and were considering a move.
But both were shot to death at South Shore in either a bizarre double-homicide or a murder-suicide.
A South Lake Tahoe man out hiking found Rebecca shot dead near Fallen Leaf Lake March 26.
Three boys in a canoe looking for beavers found Robert’s body floating in a Tahoe Key’s lagoon April 23.
Investigators are now awaiting a final autopsy report from a crime lab in Auburn, Calif., as well as a gun and bullet analysis report from the Department of Justice in Sacramento, Calif. Both reports are expected to take several weeks.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department hopes the autopsy report helps them determine if Robert Barr’s death was a homicide or a suicide. They know a bullet that entered behind his left ear killed him.
Sgt. Bob Johnston said he has not revealed where Rebecca was shot because he does not want to hinder the investigation of her homicide.
He said a ballistics report should reveal if a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol found in the water near Robert Barr is the same 9 mm gun used to kill his wife.
Dental records confirmed the identity of each Barr. Investigators identified Rebecca more than a week after they located her body. The initial lead in Rebecca’s case came from a missing person’s report.
April 6 investigators located a champagne-colored Chevrolet Malibu the couple had rented in Portland. Someone parked it at 1579 Venice Drive, a home across the street from the lagoon where Robert’s body was found.
Apparently neither one of the Barrs told family members they were headed for Tahoe. Both were found dead in dress clothes; Robert in a black tuxedo, Rebecca in a white pinstriped pantsuit.
The couple had only been married for several years. Rebecca, 45, had three sons, age 19, 20 and 23, from another marriage.
Robert Barr’s history is not as innocent as his wife’s. Oregon Department of Corrections said Barr, 57, was convicted in 1996 of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and robbery.
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A $20,000 fine and permanent ban could eventually await those operating vacation home rentals in Douglas County without a permit.