Police arrest suspect in Rineyville double murders
By Janelle MacDonald
RINEYVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -- State police say they have charged a Fort Campbell soldier with a double murder in central Kentucky. Kentucky State Police Trooper Steve Pavey says 29-year-old Brent Burke is charged with killing his estranged wife, 31-year-old Tracy Burke and her former mother-in-law, 53-year-old Karen Comer, while three children were inside the home. WAVE 3 Investigator Janelle MacDonald reports.
The two women were found dead in a home in Rineyville on Sept. 11th a 9-year-old boy called 911, saying he heard gunfire the night before.
Burke is a military police officer at Fort Campbell, a sprawling Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, but he's now a suspect in the double murdered.
Pavey says Burke has been under close supervision since the murders. "Fort Campbell pretty much had him on lockdown. He couldn't leave. They wasn't worried about him escaping or getting away."
Although Burke did talk with investigators after his arrest on Monday, they won't reveal what he said.
Police admit their case is circumstantial, but say it's still strong.
"Investigators sat down with Chris Shaw, the Commonwealth Attorney," Pavey said. "They looked at all the evidence, they made a determination through the totality of this evidence they felt like they had enough evidence to make an arrest and go forward with this case."
Police did collect physical evidence from the murder scene, but are still waiting on test results on some of it, so their case could become even stronger. As for a motive, police say the couple's bitter divorce and Tracy's allegations that she was afraid of her husband could be factors.
Burke is charged with two counts of murder, three counts of wanton endangerment, one count of burglary and one count of animal cruelty -- for allegedly shooting one of the family's dogs the night of the murders.
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