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Thomas Fritz, Iraq Vet Wanted for Double Murder, Found Dead in West Va.

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By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
July 18, 2012|8:52 am

Iraq war veteran Thomas Fritz has been found dead by authorities after a lengthy search. Fritz was charged with two counts of murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder in Michigan.

Fritz reportedly shot his ex-girlfriend, 33-year-old Amy Merrill and her 24-year-old sister, Lisa Gritzmaker, who was eight months' pregnant. He then shot and wounded their mother, Robin Lynn McCowan, who was taken into surgery and is expected to fully recover.

According to reports, Fritz moved in with Merrill last year, but the couple parted ways just three weeks ago. Merrill decided to end things, though no one knows why. Fritz, however, had a police record after being convicted of sexual battery in 2006 and was named a sexually-oriented offender. Merrill had two sons and a toddler with Fritz, even though he had a record.

Fritz served in the Ohio National Guard in 1997 and later joined the Army Reserve. He was deployed to Iraq and spent one year with the guard's military police unit until 2004, when he returned home. He was found dead early this morning in a cabin in West Virginia, and authorities are keeping the details private.

The United States Marshals Service was the one to find Fritz's body after receiving a tip. The news brings some assurance to the Blissfield community where Gritzmaker and Merrill grew up.

"It's a small community- most people know who each other are," Shellie LaTour told the Huffington Post. "It's extremely shocking. The whole town, there's just this solemn, eerie feeling. You just don't know how to think and feel."

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Now, at least, the town can grieve its losses without fear of further threat. Police had previously issued a warning after the shootings and told people to keep away from Fritz, who they said was "armed and dangerous."

 

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