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Reginald MacLaren: What we know about the Englewood man who confessed to killing wife and daughter with ax

Reginald MacLaren
Reginald MacLaren

An 81-year-old man in Englewood identified as Reginald MacLaren has been arrested for allegedly killing and dismembering his wife and daughter with an ax.

Reginald MacLaren was arrested and taken into custody Saturday evening.

He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of 70-year-old Bethany MacLaren and 35-year-old Ruth Jennifer MacLaren, authorities announced.

What happened

About 6 p.m. Saturday, Reginald Maclaren called police and said he thought his wife and daughter had been murdered by somebody with a hammer.

He identified the victims as his wife, Bethany MacLaren, 70, and his daughter, Ruth Jennifer MacLaren, 35, and told police that both were in the apartment’s living room.

When police arrived at the complex, which was along the 900 block of Englewood Parkway, the front door was locked.

When they knocked, Reginald MacLaren opened the door.

He was asked to exit the apartment while officers swept the apartment for potential suspects, according to the affidavit.

When the officers began to walk around the apartment, they saw suspected blood dripping from the top of a kitchen trash can and what appeared to be human hair coming out of the top. The officers also saw two large rollaway black trash cans on their sides in the living room.

According to the affidavit, the officers found one body in each of those trash cans.

The cans appeared to be new, as they did not have scuffing on the wheels.

An Englewood detective spoke with Reginald MacLaren, who had been transported to Swedish Medical Center due to pre-existing medical conditions.

He gave consent for detectives to enter the apartment and so two other detectives went to that scene.

Reginald MacLaren
Reginald MacLaren

The detectives also saw the two bodies in the trash cans. They found a large axe in a closet and a handsaw near the trash cans. They noted the large amount of blood in the apartment.

Shortly after 9 p.m., detectives spoke with Reginald MacLaren at the hospital again. He waived his rights verbally and in writing before answering questions.

During that interview, Reginald MacLaren said he had been employed at Hospital Shared Services, but recently was terminated and didn’t have any money left.

He regularly interacted with people experiencing homelessness and “knew what a miserable life that was,” he said, according to the affidavit.

About 10 days prior, he began a plan to kill his family “so they would not be homeless,” he told police.

He purchased an axe, the two trash cans and a hand saw and stored the items in his apartment.

The affidavit reads that Reginald MacLaren knew he had to leave the apartment the day of the homicides because he didn’t have rent money.

He said they had nowhere to go.

He said their bodies wouldn’t fit in the trash cans, so he used a saw to remove their arms and legs. The cans were too heavy and he could not move them, he said, according to the affidavit.

The document reads that Reginald MacLaren told police “he does not regret killing his family as he ‘knows they are in a better place.'”

Reginald MacLaren was arrested around 9:30 p.m. and brought to the Arapahoe County Jail.

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