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Police find Idaho 'person of interest'

Man sought for questioning about triple slaying and missing kids

Robert Roy Lutner is a "person of interest" in the slayings.
A sheriff's hot line has been established for any information about the case: 208-446-2292 or 208-446-2293.
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Police hope 'person of interest' can help them find children.

Amber Alert issued for two children in wake of triple slaying.
Amber Alert
Crime, Law and Justice

(CNN) -- A man sought for questioning in an Idaho triple homicide contacted authorities Wednesday, and deputies hope he can help lead them to two missing children, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Capt. Ben Wolfinger said 33-year-old Robert Roy Lutner of Hayden, Idaho, called the department. But the spokesman wouldn't say where Lutner was.

Lutner is not a suspect in the slayings in Coeur d'Alene, said Wolfinger, a member of the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department.

"He is a person of interest because we know he was here at the residence on Sunday evening," he said. "That's the last time frame we can put everybody here at the house alive."

"He may have seen something; he may have known if someone else was here at the residence. He may have met someone as he was leaving," Wolfinger said. "That's the kind of information we hope to glean from him."

Authorities are searching for 9-year-old Dylan Groene and his 8-year-old sister, Shasta. The bodies of their mother, Brenda Groene, and their 13-year-old brother, Slade, were discovered in their home. Also found dead at the scene was Mark McKenzie, 37.

The victims were bound, deputies said, helping them rule out the possibility of a murder-suicide.

Sheriff Rocky Watson said authorities have identified no motive for what he called "a very brutal triple homicide."

Authorities had been on the lookout for either a 1975 silver Ford pickup truck or a 1990 white Toyota truck they believed Lutner may have been driving.

Earlier Wednesday, Lutner's stepmother told CNN Radio she had not heard from her son since Sunday, which she said was unusual.

Wolfinger said there was no information yet from the autopsies because they were "going on right now, and we have to wait until they're between autopsies to get the information."

He said law authorities have received numerous tips about the slayings, some from "real weird people."

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for the children Tuesday, describing Dylan as 4 feet tall and weighing 60 pounds, with crew-cut blond hair and blue eyes; and Shasta as 3 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 40 pounds, with long auburn-brown hair and hazel-green eyes.

A sheriff's hot line has been established for any information about the case: 208 446-2292 or 208 446-2293.

Search teams using dogs fanned out across the area looking for signs of the children. They were assisted by a helicopter. FBI agents also were helping.

Forensics experts from Spokane, Washington, were helping county investigators review fingerprint evidence and state police were helping process DNA evidence, Wolfinger said.

Coeur D'Alene School Superintendent Harry Amend said crisis teams went Wednesday to the middle school attended by Slade and the elementary school attended by the missing children.

"Right now there's a combination of deep emotion ... feeling pain and grief and the shock," Amend said." "It's a brutal murder of one of their classmates and the fear of the unknown."

Watson said the woman's ex-husband has been ruled out as a suspect, although he would not elaborate.

He said investigators would be processing the crime scene for the next two or three days.

CNN's Betty Anderson and CNN Radio's Ninette Sosa contributed to this report.

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