Update Feb. 8, 2013: The Sonoma Sheriff's Department announced today that the autopsies on the three homicide victims were completed this morning.
"All three victims died from gunshot wounds," according to a news release. "We will not be releasing any other details related to the autopsies at this time so as not to jeopardize our investigation."
Bay City News Service
The three men who were fatally shot in a Forestville area residence Tuesday were waiting for someone who was going to sell them "a significant amount" of marijuana, a Sonoma County sheriff's lieutenant said Wednesday afternoon.
"People associated with the victims said it was a pot deal gone bad. We believe the victims were associated with another involved party. The victims were the buyers," Lt. Dennis O'Leary said.
The sheriff's office has identified the victims as Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y., Raleigh Butler, 26, a former Petaluma resident who most recently was living in the Lake Tahoe area, and Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo.
Butler's brother and Butler's brother's girlfriend, who called 911, found the bodies around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in the bedroom of a cabin on property at 9707 Ross Station Road in the Forestville area, O'Leary said. He said it's believed the shootings happened around noon.
Butler's brother told investigators he was expecting a call from his brother and became concerned and went to the residence when he did not hear from him for four to six hours, O'Leary said.
Butler's brother and his girlfriend are not suspected of being involved in the marijuana deal, O'Leary said.
Butler's mother was renting a residence on the property but was out of state when the murders occurred, O'Leary said.
"There was a lot of blood at the scene, but no sign of a struggle," O'Leary said. Some processed marijuana was found at the scene but not a weapon, he said.
"I don't believe people in the neighborhood are in any danger," O'Leary said. "We're working on leads and interviewing associates of the three victims."
Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday.
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