Identity revealed of father who killed young sons, himself

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MARSHFIELD, Mo. - Two teddy bears along side white and yellow carnations hang on a fence in the front of what used to be the home of a five-year-old and his seven-year-old brother.

Both boys died at the hands of their father from a single contact gunshot wound.

On July 30, Robert Kinney shot his sons at the house where they had been living for a little more than a year on S. White Oak Road outside of Marshfield when the two were not with their mother.

Kinney then torched the home, three vehicles, and a barn before fatally shooting himself, according to search warrant documents recently released.

Around 2:00 in the morning someone passing by saw the fires and called 911. After extinguishing the flames, fire fighters discovered all three bodies in a bedroom. The autopsy findings reveal Kinney, 46, was alive at some point during the fires, but his sons were not.

Authorities have not released the name of the children, but one week before the double murder and suicide, Kinney's divorce was finalized; he had been caring for his young sons while their mother was at a church camp when the gruesome crime unfolded.

Weeks later the shell of the home still remains as a stark reminder of the horrors that happened there, except for a touching note beside the bears and flowers, someone wrote, "Fly high sweet angels."

At the scene on the morning of the ordeal, sheriff's deputies found a cell phone in a pocket of Kinney's jeans that he was wearing. Investigators wanted to search the phone "to possibly locate a motive or indication Robert Dale Kinney intended to kill his children and himself. Search of the phone is also to rule out any outside second party participation providing assistance to Robert Dale Kinney to carry out the murder of his children," the detective wrote.

Investigators also got a search warrant for the home, the burned vehicles, outbuildings, and the burned barn.

"Multiple containers of accelerants were located inside the residence and there was evidence the fire was incendiary. Three vehicles appeared to have been set on fire independent of the residence. A barn to the SW of the residence had also been burnt to the ground," a detective wrote in that search warrant application.