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An 83-year-old Colorado man murdered and dismembered his wife and disabled daughter before throwing them in the trash.

An 83-year-old Colorado man murdered and dismembered his wife and disabled daughter before throwing them in the trash.

An 83-year-old Colorado man murdered and dismembered his wife and disabled daughter before throwing them in the trash.

Reginald MacLaren was found guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder and tampering with a deceased body after police discovered the dismembered bodies of his wife and disabled daughter in trash bins.

Reginald Maclaren was found guilty of the double murder of his wife and disabled daughter(Sheriff Arapahoe)

An 83-year-old man was found guilty Friday by a Colorado jury of the murder and dismemberment of his wife and disabled daughter, according to prosecutors.

According to the Colorado 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Reginald MacLaren was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and tampering with a corpse, as well as false reporting. Prosecutors say MacLaren killed his 70-year-old wife, Bethany MacLaren, and his 35-year-old daughter, Ruth Jennifer MacLaren, with an axe.



He then dismembered their bodies with a saw and placed them in trash cans he had purchased at Home Depot a week earlier. According to prosecutors, Reginald MacLaren contacted the Englewood Police Department around 6 a.m. on March 25, 2023, claiming he believed his wife and daughter had been murdered.

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The police arrived and saw the wife and daughter dismembered in garbage containers.(9NEWS)

Upon arrival, police noticed two large trash cans in the living room. One contained the decapitated body of his wife, while the other contained his daughter. A large axe was discovered in a closet and the saw was found next to the trash cans.

“Mr. Maclaren betrayed his family in a gruesome and senseless ambush that he planned for weeks,” said Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jake Adkins. “He violently murdered his wife and his daughter and planned to dispose of his bodies like garbage.”

MacLaren will be sentenced on July 11 and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. “It is difficult to imagine the fear and confusion these two women endured in their final moments,” said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Corrie Caler. “The lives of Ruth and Bethany MacLaren were unnecessarily cut short and we are grateful to the jury for returning a fair verdict.”

Englewood police said in a news release that both victims appeared to have suffered “significant injuries” and showed “no signs of life.” They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Englewood homicide detectives, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Crime Scene Unit and the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office responded to the crime scene to conduct a joint investigation. Detectives say they found a Stanley brand handsaw near the trash cans and “observed large amounts of blood throughout the apartment,” according to an affidavit.

The 83-year-old man called police to report that his wife and daughter had been murdered.(Sheriff Arapahoe)

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About three hours after the 911 call, detectives say MacLaren confessed to the murders, saying he had recently been fired from his job, had no money left and had to kill his family to prevent them from becoming homeless.

“Approximately ten days ago, (MacLaren) began planning to kill his family so they would not be homeless,” the affidavit states. “He purchased an axe, two ‘Totter’ type trash cans, and a handsaw from Home Depot. He had every intention of using these items to commit the murders.”

MacLaren also reportedly provided details about the murders. The affidavit reveals the chilling details: “This morning (3/25/23) at approximately 11 a.m., his wife and daughter were sitting on the couch. He hit his wife in the head with the ax, immediately rendering her unconscious. “He then hit his daughter in the head with the ax, knocking her unconscious. He hit each victim in the head with the ax two more times.”

MacLaren confessed to investigators that, after realizing that the bodies of his wife and daughter did not fit in the trash cans he had purchased, “he used the saw he had purchased to cut off the victims’ arms and legs” and He placed his remains in the boats. However, he admitted to police that he did not have the strength to lift the boats, which prevented him from disposing of the bodies.

“(MacLaren) has no regrets about killing his family because ‘he knows they are in a better place,'” police said in the affidavit. Englewood Police Division Chief Tracy Jones commented on the horror, saying that even seasoned detectives with more than two decades of experience described MacLaren’s home as “one of the most gruesome crime scenes they have ever been a part of.”