Police are investigating the deaths of the Marlow Review weekly newspaper publisher, his wife and their teenage daughter, whose bodies were found Monday morning in their Duncan home.

Police gathered at the home of John and Katherine "Tinker" Hruby at 1217 Bent Tree after the family's housekeeper called 911 about 9 a.m., Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said.

  Officers quickly cordoned off the home and the street with police tape, but said nothing about what may have occurred.

  The Marlow Review, the weekly newspaper in the town of 4,000 located about 10 miles north of Duncan, announced  the deaths on its web site:

  "At this time, The Marlow Review asks the general public for prayers following the tragic deaths of John Hruby, our publisher, his wife Tinker, and their daughter Katherine. Our staff endeavors to continue to serve Marlow to the best of our ability going forward. Thank you."

    A car from the state medical examiner's office was parked outside the Hruby home in the affluent Timber Creek subdivision on Duncan's north side.

     The couple's teenage daughter, Katherine, 17, is  a junior at Duncan High School and played on the volleyball team, a neighbor and classmates of the young woman said.

     The couple also has a son, Alan, who graduated from Duncan High School last spring and attends the University of Oklahoma, friends of the family said.

    Neighbors said John Hruby, 50, and his 48-year-old wife, known to everyone as "Tinker,"  were good neighbors.

    "It's sad. It's very shocking," said one neighbor, who asked to remain unnamed. "They were a good family. They would always help you out. If your car wouldn't start, they'd come over and jump it, or if your dog ran off they'd try to help you catch. Just neighborly things."

   Larry Bartlett, an oil company executive who lives across the street from the Hruby family, said he was surprised at the news and knew of no problems in the family.

    "You're always surprised when it happens in your neighborhood," Bartlett said.

     A half-dozen police officers in uniform and plainclothes  moved in and out of the Hruby house throughout the afternoon.

     The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was called to help with the investigation, police said.

     At one point, a detective and a police officer examined a surveillance camera mounted on the west corner of the two-story brick home.

     Later, a uniformed Duncan officer was seen carrying out what appeared to be a DVR.

 Later in the afternoon, the police tape that cordoned off the front yard of the Hruby house as well as the street was extended to encompass a Jeep that neighbors said belongs to the Hruby's son.

   At Duncan High School, students were stunned by the news.

   A prayer vigil at the school was planned for Monday night.

   Football games for the freshman and junior teams scheduled for Monday were canceled because of the deaths, coaches said.

   Football practice also was canceled for the varsity, said Head Coach Craig Benson, who said he wanted his players to have time to collect their emotions.

The coach said Katherine Hruby was a friend to  many of the athletes.

  John Hruby is the former publisher of The Duncan Banner. His late father, Al Hruby, was the publisher of the Banner before he took over leadership of the newspaper. The Hruby family sold the Banner in 1997.

  John Hruby was vice president of the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation Board of Trustees, part of the Oklahoma Press Association.

    People in Marlow were stunned by the deaths.

    "Any small town is made that much better by having a paper. To own a newspaper takes a dedicated person like John," said Jason McPherson, Marlow's city administrator. "This cuts deep. It's a gut-wrenching time."

(Sports editor John McKelvey and reporter Joel Dean contributed to this story.)



Recommended for you