Murder-Suicide to Blame for Deaths of Eskridge

ESKRIDGE, Kan. - James, 50, and Tina, 41, Stephenson, of Eskridge, were killed in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Director, Bob Blecha.

Blecha said the crime scene was consistent with that of a murder-suicide and that one of the victims had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Stephensons were found dead in their home at 17420 Whitetail Road, about two miles east of Eskridge, at about 9:35 p.m. Monday, March 30th. The Wabaunsee County Sheriff's Office turned the death investigations over to the KBI.

KBI investigators continue to finish their reports, which will be forwarded to the Wabaunsee County Attorney, Norbert C. Marek, Jr. Some have already been forwarded.

A report from the Shawnee County Coroner is pending. It is expected to reveal who the shooter was based on which of the two died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The couple was married in Eskridge on June 10, 1994. They had one child together, Tricia Stephenson. Tina was step-mother to James' three other children.

A family member said James farmed with his father. Tina worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas.

The Stephensons were laid to rest at 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 6 at Eskridge Cemetery.