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Police say Lincoln house explosion was murder-suicide

October 11, 2018

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2017 file photo, firefighters walk through rubble following a house explosion in Lincoln, Neb. A man fatally injured in a natural gas explosion at the house in Lincoln intentionally caused the blast so he could kill his wife, Lincoln police said Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (Amber Baesler /Lincoln Journal Star via AP, File)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A man fatally injured in a natural gas explosion at a house in Lincoln intentionally caused the blast so he could kill his wife, Lincoln police said Thursday.

A police news release said the death certificates for Jim and Jeanne Jasa, both 66, originally listed the manner of their deaths as undetermined. The certificates now list the manner of death as homicide for Jeanne Jasa and suicide for her husband.

Jeanne Jasa died about two weeks after the Aug. 14, 2017, explosion that destroyed their home and damaged nearly three dozen more in the neighborhood. Lincoln police have said Jim Jasa died May 2 in hospice care. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said his death certificate says he died of natural causes, but doctors have said he died of his injuries from the explosion.

The Jasas were the only people inside the home that day.

Relatives have filed claims against the city, Lancaster County and the natural gas provider, Black Hills Energy, alleging negligence. Brian Jorde is the attorney for the Jasas’ daughter, Amy Roche, and he said he and his client need to review the investigation findings with police before deciding whether to press her $4 million claim. He said it wasn’t clear from a brief conversation he had with police Wednesday precisely what led investigators to conclude it was a murder-suicide.

The news release doesn’t explain how investigators came to that conclusion and also said the pending civil claims prevented the release of any more investigative details. Efforts to reach Chief Jim Bliemeister were unsuccessful.

The attorney for the Jasas’ son, Matt Jasa, didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

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