Police say they believe Chue Lor, 31, killed his wife Panhia Yang, who had left him after years of abuse but returned to the apartment to gather belongings and a paycheck, the newspaper reports. Fearing her husband, she brought along her 18-year-old brother Kong Meng Lee for protection, and police suspect Chue Lor killed him, too. A medical examiner ruled they both died due to injuries caused by a sharp object, the Pioneer Press reports.
Chue Lor was also found dead, although the cause has not been released.
Police say Panhia Yang, 27, had also called police just before she went back to the apartment because she wanted an officer escort for protection, the newspaper reports. But police were busy with emergency calls and not immediately available. She called her husband and he assured her it was safe for her to return.
The couple's four children, ages 3 to 9, were in the apartment at the time of the killings, the Pioneer Press reports. They are being cared for by Chue Lor's family, the newspaper reports.
Panhia Yang's sister told the Pioneer Press that her sister had endured years of abuse but hadn't reported it to police because she feared her husband. The couple had married in Hmong traditional wedding when Panhia Yang was just 14, though they weren't legally married.