The identities of two men found shot to death in the backyards of neighboring homes on Carlotta Circle in Strawberry were confirmed Friday as detectives sought to unravel the mystery enveloping the murder-suicide case.
Theodore "Ted" Charles Rodden, 61, was slain in the backyard of his residence at 154 Carlotta Circle.
Andreas Kreiden, 41, of Calistoga, was found dead in the backyard of his parents' home next door at 152 Carlotta, a rifle at his side.
Detectives believe the killings on Carlotta Circle are just what they appear to be: murder-suicide.
The identities of the two were disclosed Friday by Lt. Keith Boyd, the county's assistant chief deputy coroner.
Rodden worked as the sound man at Rancho Nicasio, a restaurant and live music club in West Marin, for 16 years. Rancho owner Bob Brown was devastated by the killing, saying "it's the most unbelievable think I can possibly imagine."
"He's been my right arm for 16 years," Brown said. "He mixed the sound, he did the lights. He loved music so much I think he would have done this job for free. Every musician who came here loved this guy. They couldn't wait to see Ted. It's family out here. Everybody who works here is part of our family."
A musician himself, Rodden, who played mandolin and guitar, was scheduled to perform at Rancho Nicasio in October with his wife, Kaye. They played the club once a year, billing themselves as the Roddens.
"Everybody in my band is just sick about it," said musician Danny Click, a frequent performer at Rancho Nicasio. "He was such a wonderful guy."
Boyd said he was unable to provide other details of the investigation and referred inquiries to Lt. Doug Pittman, the sheriff's office spokesman.
Pittman noted detectives are continuing their probe into the deaths in adjacent backyards of the quiet neighborhood perched on a hill overlooking the Strawberry Village Shopping Center.
"All information and evidence collected so far indicates these deaths may be attributed to a murder-suicide but the investigation is far from over," he said. The lieutenant indicated there is no cause for alarm about a gunman at large.
"The sheriff's office wants to reassure the residents and Strawberry community of Mill Valley that there is no indication of any other persons involved other than those already identified in our investigation, and that there is no suspect or persons of interest at large."
County detectives, who were investigating the shooting death of a resident found in the backyard of 154 Carlotta Circle about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, discovered the body of another man next door at 152 Carlotta on Thursday morning. A fence separates the two yards.
Lt. Boyd reported that Kreiden was a Calistoga resident. It appears that he was visiting or otherwise staying at the home of his parents, who have owned the residence at 152 Carlotta since 1968. They were out of town.
Officials had no details on the relationship of the two men, or definitive word on whether there had been turmoil involving them.
"I'm unaware of any ongoing dispute between them," Pittman said early Thursday shortly after detectives launched the investigation. "We're trying to figure out what we have here."
IJ reporter Paul Liberatore contributed to this report. ------ (c)2014 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) Visit The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) at www.marinij.com