State Patrol: rural Gage County deaths believed to be murder-suicide

BLUE SPRINGS, NE — The Nebraska State Patrol says it believes two Gage County residents died Tuesday morning in a murder-suicide.

The State Patrol announced the results of its preliminary investigation Tuesday night. A spokesman says the Gage County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at a house at 628 Oak Road, about seven miles south of Beatrice near Blue Springs.

Investigators found 49-year-old Jason Arnold and 40-year-old Brooke Koch, both of Blue Springs, dead when they arrived. The State Patrol says Arnold had a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Koch was found inside the residence.  Authorities recovered a shotgun from the scene. 

Gage County Attorney Roger Harris said the 9-1-1- call originated when an acquaintance of one of the victims had stopped at the home after the incident and notified a mail carrier who was passing by the area.

Tuesday morning, Arnold failed to appear in Gage County Court for a violation of a protection order that prohibited him from contact with Koch.

The investigation is ongoing. The Gage County Attorney ordered autopsies that are scheduled for Wednesday morning.