WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – A freshman at San Diego State University and a Stanford University student were found dead Tuesday in an apparent murder-suicide in Northern California, authorities said Thursday.
Walnut Creek police went to a house on Holton Court Tuesday just before 7 a.m. after receiving calls from neighbors who heard gunshots. The bodies of Clare Orton, 19, and 21-year-old Scott Bertics were discovered inside the teenager’s parent’s home, police said. Both bodies had gunshot wounds.
The coroner identified Orton stating she was murdered. Police said they do not think there are any suspects at large.
Orton had finished her first year at SDSU studying environmental engineering where she was an honor student. Bertics had been on a leave of absence from Stanford since Fall 2014.
SDSU Vice President of Student Affairs, Eric Rivera, said in a statement, “The entire university community is saddened by the passing of Clare, a bright and promising student who had already made an impact on the SDSU campus in her first year of being an Aztec. The loss of any young life is heartbreaking and we send our heartfelt thoughts to her family during this difficult time.”
Orton was also a member of the Society of Women Engineers at SDSU. On the group’s Facebook page, a recent post read, “SWE SDSU mourns the loss of Clare Orton, a fellow Environmental Engineer. Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones.”
Orton and Bertics had dated and were long distance runners on track teams during high school, San Jose Mercury News reported.
Police said there were no previous restraining orders or disturbances at the house. Neighbors told ABC7 that Bertics had suffered from emotional distress from a previous relationship.