BEACHWOOD, Ohio – Beachwood police said they are “very confident” the sons of a podiatrist are responsible for his murder.
Dr. Richard Warn, 59, was found with multiple gunshot wounds in his Brentwood Road home Thursday, according to police.
In a press conference Tuesday, Chief Gary Haba said once all evidence is processed, detectives are confident it will tie 31-year-old Michael Warn and 29-year-old Mark Warn to the crime.
The men took their own lives as police attempted to execute a search warrant at their South Euclid home, officials said.
Haba said it is not yet clear if one of the men, or both, committed the murder and detectives have not yet been able to establish a motive.
“There was some friction amongst the family, but that’s kind of a family matter, but nothing that points us to say this or that was a clear motive,” Haba said.
Richard Warn returned home early from a planned overseas vacation after experiencing motion sickness on the way before departing the United States, according to Haba.
When his wife, Jane, returned from the vacation Thursday evening without keys, she called police after finding the Brentwood Road house locked with no answer at the door, despite Richard Warn’s car being at the home.
Haba said officers responded and discovered Richard Warn’s body upstairs with five or six gunshot wounds.
Haba declined to say what evidence led police to suspect Warn’s sons. Investigators and a SWAT team on Friday night attempted to carry out a search warrant at the South Euclid home where Michael and Mark Warn were living when Haba said someone fired a rifle at officers, hitting a SWAT vehicle window.
A 12-hour standoff followed, with police evacuating neighbors and with SWAT officers using an armored vehicle to break through the front wall of the Elmwood Road house.
The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said both Michael Warn and Mark Warn died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the South Euclid incident and is still processing any weapons recovered in the home.
Property records show Richard Warn purchased the South Euclid home in 2011, and neighbors said his sons lived there since.
South Euclid police incident reports show police responded to the house in the 4300 block of Elmwood Road nearly two dozen times between 2011 and 2015.
Most calls were trivial, including Michael Warn reporting vehicles parked “too close” to his driveway – in one case, within six feet – and one time reported someone in a vehicle on the street “may be casing his house.”
Neighbor Marian Werfel said the brothers rarely left the house, except to go to the grocery store.
“They were such shy, shy boys. You would never think they could do this,” Werfel said. “They were very quiet, kept to themselves.”
“The younger brother, he was just a shadow. He just did everything his brother wanted him to do,” Werfel said. She said she saw Richard Warn visit his sons at the house until 2015.
“He used to go shopping for them, buy them paper towels and toilet paper, cleaning products,” she said. “Other than that I have not seen anybody — friends, family, nobody, ever.”
Haba said neither son had a criminal record. However, Beachwood police records show several incidents involving them.
Richard Warn contacted police in 2004 to report he was “having a difficult time disciplining his children and arguments with them seem to be escalating,” according to a police report.
Warn said he and his first wife had divorced and he was seeing someone new, which he believed was causing most of the tension.
In 2005, Warn called police to the house following an argument with Mark Warn over an Xbox, according to a police report.
Then, in 2015, Jane Warn called police to report strangers were in the house, saying “she was hiding in the bathroom and could still hear voices in the house.”
Police said Richard Warn came home, and they found Michael and Mark standing in the living room.
“Michael stated that they were in the house looking for some hats. Richard said that Michael and Mark were not to be in the house as they no longer lived there,” the report states.
Richard Warn later called police back to the house to play a voicemail left by Michael which said “people do crazy things when they do not get enough sleep” and warned that if Richard did not give him money “Jehovah will be upset and might start burning s***.”
“I think he basically was saying boys, man up. I’m not doing things for you anymore and I think maybe they just went off the deep end,” Wefel said.
Warn leaves behind a third child, an adult daughter, who declined comment to FOX 8 News.