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Colorado man tells police he feared homelessness in ax killings case

A Colorado man who killed his wife and daughter with an ax told police he feared they would end up homeless. The 81-year-old man lost his job and said he didn't regret the murders.

An 81-year-old Colorado man accused of killing his wife and daughter with an ax told police he lost his job and was afraid they would end up homeless. Reginald Maclaren told police he didn’t regret killing them because he "knows they are in a better place," according to court documents.

Maclaren was arrested Saturday in the killings and booked into jail Tuesday after being taken to the hospital for what police have described as a preexisting medical condition, Crystal Essman, a spokesperson for police in the Denver suburb of Englewood, said Wednesday.

Maclaren is scheduled to appear in court Monday, when prosecutors say they plan to file formal charges against him.

Police said Maclaren called authorities Saturday to tell them that his wife and adult daughter had been killed and that he thought he knew who the suspect was. When officers arrived at his apartment, they found the bodies of two women in trash cans in the living room, police said in a press release. One of the women had been dismembered with a saw, they said.

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According to Maclaren's arrest affidavit, he told investigators he had lost his job at Hospital Shared Services, which provides security to health care facilities, and did not have any money left. He said they would have to move out Saturday because he could not pay the rent. He also said he had regular interactions with people who were experiencing homelessness and knew what a miserable life that was, according to the affidavit.

During a press conference Tuesday, Englewood police's division chief, Tracy Jones, said longtime detectives described Maclaren's apartment as the "one of the most gruesome crime scenes" they had ever seen. All officers involved in the case are getting mental health support, he said.

Maclaren is being represented by a lawyer from the state public defender’s office, which doesn’t comment on its cases.

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