SALEM -- Investigators have linked the murders of a Salem mom and her three young girls last May to the beating death of a man found dead in the street. The suspect, the woman's husband, committed suicide after the murders, police said.
Natalya Lazukin, 26, was found shot to death in her bed on May 22, after firefighters put out the blaze at her family home. The couple's 3-year-old daughter, Angelica, and 2-year-old Zoe Lazukin had also been shot to death. Sulamia Lazukin, just 4 months old, died of asphyxiation in the fire, according to medical examiners.
Police believe 27-year-old Nikolay Lazukin killed his family, using loaves of bread to try and silence the sounds of the gunshots. They believe he set the house on fire some time later, to hide evidence of the murders.
That same day, Nikolay also beat a man to death with a baseball bat. Police said the two were total strangers.
Devin Matlock, 21, was found dead along a street near the Lazukin home around 4:20 a.m. His body was spotted by a delivery driver near the intersection of Fisher and Devonshire Streets.
Police said Matlock's blood was found on a bat in Nikolay's SUV and also on the bottom of the suspect's shoes.
"The patterned impression discovered on Devin Matlock's jaw during his autopsy was compared to the tread on the bottom of Nikolay Lazukin's shoe. The impression and the shoe were found to have similarities in both tread design and physical size. Thus, Lazukin's shoe could not be excluded as the source of the impression," according to a statement sent to the media Monday from Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson.
Nikolay's body was found hours later, in an SUV vehicle parked in Cottage Grove. Police believe he shot himself after sending this text message to his wife Natalya's father:
"Please forgive me. They took control of my body and did it. I BEGGED THEM NOT TO BUT THEY DID. I'm so sorry. PLEASE GOD FORGIVE ME. MY LAST FIGHT I HAVE LOST AT EXIT 174."
Background: Family murdered in Salem