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Authorities Investigate Murder of Elderly Couple in La Crosse Co.


LA CROSSE COUNTY, Wis. (WTAQ) - La Crosse County authorities say they’re checking out leads in the murders of an elderly couple – but they have not identified any suspects. Autopsies Tuesday confirmed that 68-year-old Dennis Koula and his 65-year-old wife Merna were murdered in their rural home in the town of Barre.

But La Crosse County Sheriff Steve Helgeson would not say how the couple died, whether the bodies had trauma, if a weapon was recovered, or if there were signs of a burglary. Helgeson said it’s still early in the investigation, and his deputies and state Justice agents continue to gather evidence.

The Koulas were found dead Monday morning. That was after West Salem school officials called a family member because Merna had not showed up for substitute teaching duty. The couple’s son then tried to call them – and he later discovered the bodies. Helgeson said both Koulas worked on Friday, and officers are trying to determine exactly when the slayings took place. Dennis Koula worked at a pharmacy in Black River Falls.