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2 found dead in apparent murder-suicide in San Diego suburb of Santee

A man called 911 on Sunday, saying that he had just killed his wife and planned to set fire to his home and commit suicide. The house was quickly destroyed by flames.

January 03, 2011|By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from San Diego — Two bodies were recovered Sunday from the charred rubble of a home in the San Diego suburb of Santee after what appears to have been a case of murder, arson and suicide, authorities said.

The names of the victims were not disclosed.

But the San Diego County medical examiner listed the birth date of one of the victims as Feb. 16, 1950, the same as Michael Cour, a co-owner of the home. The other person appeared to be a woman, officials said.

The home on Clifford Heights Road in Santee, a middle-class suburb east of San Diego, is listed as owned by Cour, 60, and Janice Gervais, 70, according to San Diego County property records.

The couple filed for bankruptcy last year, according to records.

On Saturday afternoon, a man called 911 and said that he had just killed his wife and planned to set fire to his home and commit suicide. He threatened to shoot anyone who attempted to extinguish the flames.

Neighbors told reporters that, along with financial problems, Cour's wife had cancer.

Cour is listed on property records as a teacher at Grossmont High School in El Cajon, but the school's website does not list him among current faculty.

With firefighters unable to approach the home, it was quickly destroyed by the flames. Ammunition could be heard exploding inside the structure, officials said.

tony.perry@latimes.com

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