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DA: Man May Have Used Baseball Bat In Brutal Groton Murders

AYER (CBS) -- The man charged with killing his mother, grandparents and their caretaker in Groton was ordered to have a psychiatric evaluation Monday.

Orion Krause, 22, of Rockport, Maine, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Ayer District Court on four charges of murder. He will be held without bail at Bridgewater State Hospital pending a competency hearing.

Orion Krause
Orion Krause in Ayer District Court, Sept. 11, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

He's accused of bludgeoning three women and a man at a home in Groton Friday and Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan says her office hasn't determined a motive for the murders.

Investigators identified the victims at a news conference Monday afternoon as Frank Darby Lackey III, 89,  and Elizabeth Lackey, 85, Krause's grandparents. Also identified were Elizabeth Lackey Krause, 60, also known as Buffy, Krause's mother, and Bertha Mae Parker, 68, a home health care aide.

Ryan says the episode started Thursday evening when Krause left their Rockport, Maine home and traveled to the Boston area.

After her son left the house, Krause's mother called police and told them she was concerned about where her son may go or what he might do.

The report says the Rockport Police assured her that they would be watching for her son.

Krause called home to his mother and said he was in Boston and that he was okay. He called Friday morning and asked his mother for a ride back to Maine.

Elizabeth "Buffy" Krause. (WBZ-TV)


Krause's mother Elizabeth agreed and made the trip down to Boston. They then decided to visit Krause's grandparents. Ryan added that shortly after the visit began, Krause made a "concerning" phone call.

"Our investigation reveals that at some point late on Friday afternoon, Mr. Krause made a phone call to an individual that is known to him and made statements that were concerning--concerning enough that that individual began to reach out to family members," Ryan said.

She says that that troubling call was followed by a series of phone calls.

"At approximately the same time the police were responding to the call from the neighbor on Common Street. They were also receiving calls at the police station from other family members of the individual Mr. Krause had reached out to," Ryan said.

The bodies of Krause's grandparents and mother were found inside the house, while Parker's was discovered outside.

Ryan said all four died from blunt trauma, and that a baseball bat found at the scene is believed to be the murder weapon.

Groton Murders
Police take Orion Krause into custody outside a home in Groton, Sept. 8, 2017. (Courtesy Photo)

Groton Police Chief Donald Palma again assures his town that they're safe.

"It's a horrific situation that we're not used to dealing with. I want to assure the town that we are safe, your department is safe and we're going to continue on," Palma said.

Krause is a recent Oberlin College graduate and jazz drummer.

On Sunday, a vigil was held for the victims.

Groton vigil (WBZ-TV)

"Four people are dead, two of them elderly, killed by a young man who was known and loved by them," Reverend Elea Kemler said at the vigil. "We do not understand that."

Krause's next court date is October 30.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz reports

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