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Former Siuslaw teacher, wife believed to be victims in triple homicide

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 18th, 2013

Authorities say that Renae and Lola Cottam died in their Myrtle Point home on June 15. A third victim, Kathleen Nelson, was also killed next door. Nelsonís husband, Edward Lawrence, has been charged in all three deaths. (courtesy photo)

MYRTLE POINT ó Coos County authorities are investigating a triple murder committed Saturday, June 15, in Myrtle Point.

Kathleen Nelson, 59, and Renae and Lola Cottam, both 73, were found dead in their homes when authorities responded to a fire call Saturday night at Nelsonís home on Big Creek Road. While firefighters worked on Nelsonís home, they discovered a neighboring residence was also on fire. Investigators later found two bodies they believe are the Cottams.

Autopsy results were not available at press time.

According to a number of news reports, authorities believe the victims were killed before their homes were set on fire. The Nelson home suffered moderate damage and the Cottams home was destroyed.

Renae Cottam was a biology teacher at Siuslaw High School for about 12 years. He retired from the district in 2001, but continued coming to Florence as a substitute teacher for many years. He and his wife were long-time residents of Myrtle Point.

For the complete article see the 06-19-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-19-2013 paper.

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