Crime - Sacto 911

Sheriff’s investigators report deaths of women at Placerville-area home were murder-suicide

Two women whose bodies were found following a fire in their Placerville-area home in March died as a result of a murder-suicide, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s officials announced today that investigators determined that homeowner Crystal Ward, 58, shot Carolyn Hague, 62, in the head, then set the house on fire using flammable liquids, before turning the weapon on herself.

Sheriff’s investigators were called to 1601 Rose Lane for a death investigation March 7. Firefighters had responded about 5:45 a.m. to find a home engulfed in flames. As firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze, others rushed inside to search for occupants believed to be trapped in the house.

The bodies of the women were found in a back bedroom. Sheriff’s officials later determined that they had died of gunshot wounds.

Hague was employed by the Folsom Cordova Unified School District’s financial department. She previously worked for the Gold Oak Union School District in El Dorado County as its chief financial officer from 2000 to 2011.

Ward, owner of the Ass-Pen Ranch, where the home was located, was one of the original members of the Bay Area Equestrian Network. She was known for breeding, training and rescuing donkeys, and served as an equine judge.

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