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Newbury man among 4 killed in California

Last modified: 1/6/2012 12:00:00 AM
A man from Newbury was among four people killed in a murder-suicide on New Year's Day in California, family members confirmed yesterday.

Matthew Saturley, 31, died of multiple gunshot wounds early Sunday morning at a home in Coronado, Calif., according to the San Diego County, Calif., Sheriff's Department.

Saturley grew up in Newbury but had lived in Chula Vista, Calif., for the past several years with his wife, 7-year-old stepson and 5-year-old daughter, said a cousin, Ellen Saturley of Concord. The family also lived in Massachusetts and New York while Matthew Saturley was growing up, but she said the family always spent summers and vacations at their Newbury home on Lake Sunapee.

'Sunapee was, I think they all considered it their home base,' Ellen Saturley said.

Matthew Saturley's father, Robert, died in an accident in June. He was cycling in Newbury when he was hit by a car and died at the scene. He was 64. Another cyclist was seriously injured in the accident.

'It's a devastating loss for the family,' Ellen Saturley said of Matthew's death. 'His dad just died, also under sudden and violent circumstances.'

Ellen Saturley said her three children are about the same age as Matthew Saturley and his younger sister, Elizabeth. She said Robert Saturley was her husband's cousin. The families spent time together when the children were young, and she said she remains close friends with Matthew's mother, Joyce Saturley.

Joyce Saturley lives in Newbury but is currently in California with her daughter, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, Ellen Saturley said.

Joyce and Elizabeth Saturley appeared with Alana Renfro, Matthew's wife, in a television interview yesterday on an NBC station in San Diego. Renfro said in the interview that Matthew had filed for divorce several days before his death, but that it was under amicable circumstances.

The police responded to a 911 call at a Coronado home about 2:20 a.m. Sunday and found four people dead, including two Navy pilots and Saturley. Three of the deaths were ruled homicides and one a suicide, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

Authorities said three of the individuals who died Sunday morning went to a nightclub on New Year's Eve, where they met Saturley and returned home with him to Coronado, where the shootings occurred, according to the Associated Press. John Reeves, 25, shot and killed Saturley and two others before killing himself, the police said. The investigation into the deaths is ongoing, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.

Ellen Saturley said she has only spoken briefly with Matthew's immediate family members since the shooting, and the family is no longer available for comment because media outlets have surrounded their home in Chula Vista.

She said the 'double whammy' of Matthew's and his father's death makes it difficult to talk about the tragedy.

'I've been in contact, but everyone's having difficulty speaking, quite frankly,' she said.

She said she would remember Matthew most for his love of children.

'He was one of the Pied Piper-type guys who's sort of big and burly and always in a gathering has kids hanging from his arms and always throwing people up in the air,' she said. 'He was very smart and certainly had a serious side, but what I remember is the way he was with all the little kids in the family, not just his own but everybody's,' she said.

Matthew earned degrees from the University of Maryland and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ellen Saturley said. According to his profile on Linkedin.com, he held a number of business jobs in the San Diego area, most recently as a technical textbook editor.

The family plans to return to New Hampshire to hold a memorial service for Matthew, Ellen Saturley said.

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or lmccrystal@cmonitor.com)


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