Suspected wife-killer's condition worsens

The medical condition of Raymond Nidiffer, retired owner of a grocery chain who was caught up in a suspected murder and attempted suicide, worsened Thursday and family members were gathered at his bedside, a spokeswoman for the family said.

Beverly Mayhew, who works for Eugene-based public relations firm The Ulum Group, said Nidiffer, 79, was in critical condition at a Medford hospital.

Mayhew said in a statement released Thursday afternoon that the family appreciated the public's concern and was "buoyed by the support and heartfelt condolences they've received by so many friends," but family members were not releasing any additional information at that time.

The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems defines critical condition as a state when vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Additionally, the patient may be unconscious, and indicators are unfavorable. Critical is the most medically vulnerable of the four one-word conditions that hospitals use to describe a patient's condition.

Nidiffer was listed in critical condition Monday after he and his wife, Mary June Nidiffer, 80, were found in a locked apartment at the Rogue Valley Manor with stab wounds Sunday night. June Nidiffer died at the apartment and Ray Nidiffer was rushed to an undisclosed hospital, where he had improved to fair condition before faltering again Thursday.

Friends said the Nidiffers had struggled with worsening health, including Parkinson's disease that kept June mostly bedridden and a stroke that left Ray partially paralyzed.

Medford police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the stabbings.

Details about a service for June are still pending.

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