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The Groene Family home before being torn down
Police responding to the scene of the murders in 2005
Authorities removing a body from the Groene family home
Sarah Groene and her biological father after being rescued.
Brenda Groene (40) and her boyfriend Mark McKenzie (37) who were murdered by Joseph Duncan III.
Convicted murderer and sex offender Joseph Duncan III
Killer(s): Joseph Duncan III,
Victim(s): Brenda Groene, Mark McKenzie, Slade Groene, Dylan Groene (abduction), Shasta Groene (abduction - survived),
Written by: Jewls Krueger
On May 16, 2005, the bodies of Brenda Groene (40), Mark McKenzie (37), and Brenda’s son Slade Groene (13) were found inside their rural home in the Wolf Bay area of Idaho. It was immediately determined that Brenda’s two youngest children, Shasta Groene (8) and Dylan Groene (9) were missing from the home, and an Amber Alert was issued while a search of the nearby area began.
It was determined that a home invader entered the home, tied and bludgeoned Brenda, Mark, and Slade, and abducted Shasta and Dylan. For 7 weeks, authorities worked on the few leads they had but made little progress in finding the missing children or determining who the offender was. Then, on July 2, 2005, Shasta was spotted with an unknown adult male at a Denny’s restaurant in Coeur D’Alene. Several diners and a waitress called the authorities and stopped the adult male from leaving the restaurant after recognizing Shasta from the slew of media coverage surrounding the case.
The man was identified as 42 year old Joseph Duncan III, a convicted sex offender originally from Tacoma, Wa. Shasta was able to tell the story of what happened to her and her brother. After the murder of their family members, they were taken to a makeshift campsite in rural Montana. They were repeatedly molested by Duncan during the ordeal. During their time at the campsite, Duncan shot Dylan in the head at point blank range with a shotgun, then burned the remains. On July 4th, 2005, after Shasta’s rescue, Dylan’s remains were found and identified by DNA.
In October 2006, Duncan pled guilty to 3 counts of murders and was sentenced to 3 consecutive life sentences. Shasta went to live with her father and unfortunately has had several run-ins with the law as she’s grown older.
The home was bought by the state of Idaho and demolished after Duncan’s final sentencing. The land is being repurposed as wetlands.
The writer of this article was unable to confirm the exact location of the land where the Groene family home once stood, but based on the available information, my best guess is that it was located just east of the Wolf Lodge campground near Wolf Lodge Bay, and was visible from I-90. The land is now owned by the state and is used as wetlands. Nothing of the original home remains.
West Des Moines, IA
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