Marshfield Father Identified in Killings of Sons and Self

MARSHFIELD, Mo. – Search warrant applications for the scene where a Marshfield man killed his sons and shot himself after setting fire to their home show the man’s name was Robert Dale Kinney.

The 45-year-old was found dead in a bedroom of the burned-out home at 1213 S. White Oak Road. The bodies of his sons, ages 5 and 7, were also found in the home after firefighters extinguished the blaze on July 30, according to the application filed by Webster County Sheriff’s Detective Chad Hildebrand. The boys’ names are redacted from the application released by the Circuit Clerk’s office.

All three suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, according to one application, and “evidence at the scene indicated Robert Dale Kinney was the sole perpetrator in both the fires and deaths.”

Another application indicated that multiple containers of accelerants were found in the residence and there was evidence the fire was set. Also burned were three vehicles and a barn near the residence.

Among items seized from the first search of the premises were a .410 bolt-action shotgun with a sawed-off barrel, a piece of a .410 barrel, hacksaw, a box of .410 shells and spent shells, accelerant samples, a folder with personal documents and a Red Ryder BB gun.

The shotgun was found on a bed near Kinney’s body. The bodies of the two boys were also on a bed near their father.

During an autopsy of Kinney’s body, a cell phone was found in the pocket of his jeans. That phone was the subject of the second search warrant. Hildebrand states in his application for the phone search warrant that investigators hoped to identify a motive for the killings and to “rule out any outside second party participation providing assistance to Robert Dale Kinney to carry out the murder of his children.”

Webster County Sheriff Roye Cole said in an interview on the day after that fire that Kinney and his wife had divorced just a week earlier and the children were staying with their father for the weekend.

One of the boys attended school in the Marshfield School District and a girl who rode the school bus with him says starting a new school year won't be the same without him.

"He was very playful, very funny, he was always happy, He was just such a sweet little boy. I think it will be hard without him being on the bus," said Makenzie Dredge.

Sheriff Roye Cole also says that in the nine years he's been sheriff, this is the worse crime he's experienced in the county.

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