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Elderly couple slain in NW Wisc.; son a suspect

IRON RIVER, Wis. – This northwestern Wisconsin community was reeling Sunday on news that an elderly couple had been killed in a violent attack in their apartment the previous evening, allegedly carried out by one of their grown children.

Officials identified the victims as Jim Crain, 79, and Eunice “Crickett” Crain, 76, and identified the suspect as one of the Crains’ sons.

“This is a shock for everyone here in town. Everyone absolutely loved the couple that was murdered,” said Julie Zolondek of Iron River, who knew the victims from their mutual involvement in the Trails North ATV Club. “They were two of the sweetest people. They always had smiles on their faces.”

Authorities said Bayfield County sheriff’s deputies responded at about 6:15 p.m. Saturday to a 911 call reporting an altercation in progress at the apartment on North George Street in Iron River, a town of about 1,000 people about 40 miles southeast of Duluth.

Responding deputies found the Crains deceased in the home. Officials said their 44-year-old son was found injured in the residence, and deputies arrested him at the scene. He was transported to a Duluth hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is being held under guard. The Duluth News Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been formally charged. As with all suspects, the man being held is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Authorities said they are not seeking any other suspects. Local and state investigators are working the case, and autopsies will be conducted by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office in Minneapolis.

Officials did not disclose the nature of the victims’ injuries. The Crains’ landlord, Eric Olson, said the scene in the apartment indicated a violent attack.

“There was blood on the ceilings, all over the walls and in the bathroom,” he said.

The Crains’ friend and neighbor Donna Olson said the suspect “was big trouble, even as a small child. He was a real pain in the neck.”

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