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Handguns discovered with five bodies

There was no sign of forced entry, officials say. Identities of the bodies may not be known until today.

May 27, 2008|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

Two handguns were found next to the bodies of a middle-aged couple in the same bedroom where three other bodies were found in a San Clemente home, an Orange County sheriff's official said Monday.

One weapon was found near the body of a man who had apparently suffered a gunshot wound, while the other gun was near the woman's body, said Sheriff's Lt. Erin Giudice.

There were no signs of forced entry, and nothing appeared to be missing from the expensive home that overlooks the ocean in the Sea Pointe Estates neighborhood, authorities said.

The bodies, discovered Sunday, are believed to have been at the house at least two weeks, Giudice said. An elderly woman, two women in their 20s, and a man and woman 40 to 50 were found in a first-floor bedroom.

"The conditions of the bodies are in such a bad state that it has made identification difficult," she said, adding that their identities may not be known until today.

"We believe the man suffered from a gunshot wound," Giudice said; however, the conditions of the others made finding a cause of death difficult without an autopsy.

Two additional coroners had been called in on Memorial Day, sheriff's said.

Giudice said authorities needed more evidence before ruling that it was a murder-suicide. "We just can't speculate on that right now," she said.

One of the guns was registered to the woman. According to property records, the home is owned by Manas Ucar, 58, a consulting engineer, and his wife, Margrit, 48. She is listed as a physician in voter registration documents but no medical license was registered in her name, according to the state Medical Board's online database.

"They were just lovely people," said a neighbor who lived a few doors down but did not wish to be identified.

Other neighbors believed the violence may have been triggered by an argument or family problems. They said security was tight inside the community. Residents have transponders in their cars to open the gates, and people and vehicles are videotaped.

Deputies checked the home May 14 after they were contacted by a neighbor, but left after they saw no signs of foul play.

On Saturday, they returned after they were contacted by worried relatives. They gained access to a car in the driveway hoping to find a garage door opener. They left when one couldn't be found and relatives didn't believe damaging the door was prudent.

On Sunday, relatives returned, broke in and called police after making the grisly discovery.

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david.reyes@latimes.com

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