Man believed to have killed wife, then himself

Four children are orphans after an apparent murder-suicide in Shady Cove early this morning, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department reports.

Responding to a report of shots fired at about 2:30 a.m. in the 20000 block of Highway 62, deputies and Eagle Point police found Makiala Lynn Upton, 30, dead inside a house that neighbors said she, her husband and four children moved into last month.

A SWAT team was summoned to look for the shooter and Dewayne Garrett Upton, 36, was found dead near the Rogue River with a small-caliber handgun near his hand. Sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said no shots were heard after officers arrived, so detectives believe Dewayne Upton had shot himself prior to police arrival.

The couple had four children who were staying with relatives last night and are safe, Carlson said. She also said Dewayne Upton's grandfather had received a call early this morning from his grandson reporting that he had shot his wife and thought she was dead.

"At this point, the evidence is pointing to a murder-suicide," Carlson said.

Neighbor Laura Badgley said she regularly saw Makiala Upton walking her children to the bus stop.

"I thought she was really nice," Badgley said. "She seemed like a good mom."

Badgley said her son was having a birthday party and her husband suggested they invite the Upton children. When the family drove by the house at about 5 p.m. Monday, however, the Upton home was dark and quiet so they never relayed the invitation.

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