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Drug use detected but no motive found in New Town slayings

NEW TOWN -- A man who shot to death a woman and three of her grandchildren before killing himself last year had drugs in his system but no motive could be determined, an FBI investigation concludes.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the FBI said Kalcie Eagle, 21, who had been identified as a person of interest, acted alone during the Nov. 18, 2012, shootings in New Town and had methamphetamine in his system, according to autopsy and toxicology reports.

Eagle used a hunting rifle to kill Martha Johnson and her grandchildren Benjamin Schuster, 13, Julia Schuster, 10, and Luke Schuster, 6, in their home, the FBI said.

Eagle made statements to witnesses who were interviewed by the FBI admitting his responsibility for the killings. He also made statements to witnesses interviewed by the FBI that confirmed his possession of the hunting rifle.

Eagle died by suicide later the same day in the neighboring community of Parshall by cutting his throat with a knife.

Both towns are on the Fort Berthold Reservation in northwest North Dakota.

FBI spokesman Kyle Loven said investigators were unable to determine a motive for the shootings.

It took the FBI 11 months to issue the statement because investigators wanted to complete all aspects of the investigation to rule out whether Eagle received any outside assistance, Loven said.

"We wanted to make certain that there were no other parties that may have been involved in these killings," Loven said.

J. Christopher Warrener, special agent in charge of the Minneapolis division of the FBI, said in the statement that investigators conducted extensive interviews and collected numerous pieces of physical evidence.

"Many investigative hours were dedicated to this investigation in order to ensure that no additional threats to the community existed," Warrener said. "We hope the conclusion of this investigation brings some closure to family members and the community."

A fourth Schuster child, Christian, who was 12 at the time, witnessed the shootings. The boy, police said, survived by playing dead, and then called 911. A fifth child, Ava, who was 8 at the time, was away from the home.

The Schuster children had previously lived with their parents Kevin and Rebecca Schuster

in Minto in northeast North Dakota. They moved in with their grandmother about two months before the shooting.