Murder, suicide in Spearfish

September 8, 2018

SPEARFISH — Sheriff’s officials say an investigation into the deaths of a husband and wife has been determined to be a case of murder-suicide.

On Aug. 17, Spearfish police officers responded to a report of a suicide at 330 N. Main St. Upon their arrival they found Heather Hockenbary, 42, dead of an apparent gunshot wound. Her husband, Scott Hockenbary had called 911 to report her alleged suicide.

The police department requested assistance from the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the reported suicide. An autopsy later determined that she had died from a gunshot to the back of the head. Pat Johnson, with the sheriff’s office, said a handgun was used in her death.

Then, on Aug. 22, before the investigation into her death concluded, Spearfish police officers responded to a call for service at the same house and found the body of Scott Hockenbary, who died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The final investigation, which the sheriff’s office released Friday afternoon, concluded that Scott Hockenbary had shot his wife Heather Hockenbary, and then, five days later, took his own life.

The Meade County Sheriff’s Office, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the South Dakota Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation.

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