Wis. woman killed by Iraq war veteran husband had been staying at relative's house, police say

without elaborating on possible reasons for the recent change in sleeping arrangements.

Matthew Magdzas, 23, killed his pregnant wife, April Oles-Magdzas, 26, and the couple's 13-month-old daughter, Lila, last week before turning the gun on himself.

"It's tragic for everybody," Superior police Capt. Chad La Lor said Monday, noting the bodies were found Wednesday, the day Oles-Magdzas was scheduled to give birth by C-section. "By pure numbers, it's one of the bigger homicides that Superior has certainly had in a long time."

Authorities still were awaiting autopsy results, but believed the deaths occurred last Tuesday.

La Lor said authorities might never know the reasons behind the bloodshed, saying Magdzas left no note or clue as to a possible motive. But La Lor did confirm a newspaper report that Oles-Magdzas had been staying at a relative's residence for "upwards of a week or more." The Duluth News Tribune first reported the news.

La Lor also said Monday that investigators were in the process of subpoenaing Magdzas' military medical records to see if he had complained of or been treated for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said the investigation will try to determine the events leading up to the homicides, better narrow down the times of death, and determine what could have been a contributing factor to "this senseless act."

Magdzas enlisted in the National Guard during the summer of 2004, between his junior and senior years in high school, said Lt. Col. Jackie Guthrie, a Wisconsin National Guard spokeswoman. He had completed his training by October 2005 and was assigned to the Superior-based 950th Engineer Company.

He volunteered to deploy overseas with the Milwaukee-based 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery Regiment in 2006. The unit was tasked with protecting convoys moving from Kuwait into northern Iraq, Guthrie said.

He served as a vehicle gunner and was involved in a small-arms battle in Iraq in November 2006, she said. His deployment ended in 2007.

After returning to Wisconsin, Magdzas went to work as a firearms instructor for Better Defense, a shooting school that provides classes in northern Wisconsin and southern Minnesota.