BOULDER, Colo. –
Two divorced parents found dead Wednesday in a north Boulder home both died from gunshot wounds to the head, but they were killed by different weapons, autopsies revealed Thursday.
The bodies of Robert Bryant Oakley, 39, of Boulder, and Katelin Rose Oakley, 30, of Golden, were found in his 3100 23rd St. home after police went to investigate a 911 call during which no one ever spoke, authorities said.
He died from a shotgun wound and she died from a “gunshot” wound, Boulder County Coroner Tom Faure said Thursday, but he did not determine who killed whom.
Boulder police said the two were victims of a “domestic-related crime,” but have released few details. Investigators found a 9 mm pistol and 12-gauge shotgun at the scene, police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said, but she wouldn’t say who they think fired each gun.
The couple’s two boys, ages 3 and 6, were not home at the time of the shootings, and are being cared for by family members and the Department of Social Services, Huntley said. The Oakleys shared custody of the kids, whom they typically exchanged after school on Wednesdays, she said.
When someone called 911 from inside the home at 3:03 p.m. Wednesday, dispatchers never heard anyone speak or any background noises, Huntley said. No one answered the phone when dispatchers called back, and a pair of officers went to investigate.
While they were on the way, an out-of-state family member called Boulder police and asked officers to check on Robert Oakley and his children.
When no one answered the door at the ranch-style home, officers broke in to find the bodies.
Police had previously been called to the home by Robert Oakley March 3, during a disagreement with Katelin Oakley, who had come to retrieve her belongings, according to records. Details of that incident were not released, but neither of the Oakleys has a criminal record in Colorado.
According to state records, they married on May 27, 2001, and divorced March 28, 2008.
A representative from the Denver law firm where Katelin Oakley previously worked said she resigned March 20. Neighbors said Robert Oakley was a taxi driver for Yellow Cab.
By Thursday afternoon, a small pile of flowers and notes began to grow on the steps to Robert Oakley’s front door. Neighbors near the light-green house, with a white picket fence and neatly trimmed yard, gathered outside to talk to one another.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Donna Jordan, who lives two houses down.
She said no one had seen Katelin Oakley since the divorce.
“Shortly after their second child was born, she left,” Jordan said. “She never came to the house.”
Jordan said Robert Oakley told her he decided to meet his ex-wife in public places to exchange custody of their boys, because the situation between the parents was becoming “so stressful and not going well.”
She said she never knew about any weapons in her neighbor’s house.
“I can’t imagine him having guns in the house with the kids,” she said.
Contractor Jeff Snyder, 49, of Arvada, said he was working on a fence next door to the Oakley home Tuesday when Robert Oakley came outside with his two boys, who watched him build the fence.
“They were beautiful boys,” Snyder said. “Bob was just laughing and happy. You could just tell he loved the kids.”
Rev. Anthony David, a pastor at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Atlanta, where Robert Oakley’s parents live, will host memorial services for church members Sunday and for the family later.
“The family wants people to respect their privacy,” said David, who is acting as a family spokesman.
The pastor said Robert Oakley’s parents, Godfrey and Mary Ann Oakley, have long attended the church. He declined to say whether their son is also from the area, but said the family has close ties to Atlanta.
“We’re imagining people will just be heartbroken,” David said. “We’re just holding the family in our thoughts and prayers. We’re devastated for them.”