Police Identify Victim, Suspect in Murder-Suicide

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DES MOINES, Iowa - Police in Des Moines are investigating an apparent murder-suicide.

Police responded to a home in the 3200 block of East Douglas Avenue shortly after 8 a.m. Monday. Police found the bodies of a Melissa Jo Downing, 48, of Des Moines, and Matthew John Hansen, 49, also of Des Moines, inside the home.

"A friend of the woman had gone to check on her because the woman had not shown up to work this morning, it was unusual so she was in the area (and) stopped by to check on her," said Des Moines Police Sergeant Jason Halifax. "She knocked on the door and didn't get any response . . . She also noted the back door was ajar."

At that point the woman called police. Police found the bodies of the man and woman, who investigators say were dating, inside the house.

Police said that based on their initial investigation it appears Hansen shot and killed Downing then committed suicide.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing.

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