Police find four bodies in Wrangell home

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2003

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- The bodies of a Wrangell High School faculty member, his estranged girlfriend and two other women were found shot to death in a home early Monday, police said.

Police Chief Tom Clemons said the four died in an apparent murder-suicide. He would not release details of the shooting.

Police called to the scene found the bodies of William Gablehouse, 48, Sheryl Roberta Nelson, 43, Shandelle Marie Nelson, 18 and Adrienne Shalon Nore, 23.

The bodies were found at Sheryl Nelson's home on Reid Street and all had been shot, Clemons said. Gablehouse was a faculty member at Wrangell High School and the former assistant basketball coach, Clemons said.

Wrangell is a small town of about 2,100 people in Southeast Alaska, about 150 miles south of Juneau. It has been more than two years since Wrangell had a murder, according to Clemons.

The incident has caused reverberations through the community, with grief counselors working with students and with the police officers and firefighters who responded, Clemons said.

''Everybody knows everybody in town,'' Clemons said. ''Obviously, the community is stunned by the events.''

Wrangell High School, which was supposed to be closed due to a teacher in-service day, was open on Monday to students, said principal Monty Buness. School counselors as well as Wrangell Community Services counselors were on hand, Buness said. He would not say how many students came to the school on Monday.

''I would say a number of them have come to the school to be with each other,'' Buness said. ''We're just kind of working with each other and trying to sort through things ourselves.''

Alaska State Troopers are expected to fly to Wrangell to take the four bodies back to Anchorage for an autopsy, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson. Autopsies are scheduled for Tuesday, Wilkinson said.

Police remained at the scene Monday afternoon collecting evidence after the bodies were removed from the home, Clemons said.

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