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Published March 23 2011

Authorities rule Otter Tail County teen shootings a “murder-suicide”

AMOR, Minn. –Authorities are now officially calling the shooting deaths of two teenagers in Otter Tail County a “murder-suicide.”

Tabitha Lee Belmonte, 16, and Dylan Taylor Cox, 17, both sustained gunshot wounds in an incident Monday night at 30811 Twin Lakes Road, the home of Cox’s parents near Amor.

Cox shot Belmonte multiple times before turning the gun on himself, Sheriff Brian Schlueter said this morning.

Belmonte was dead at the scene, and Cox was airlifted to Fargo’s Sanford Medical Center, where he died Tuesday afternoon after his family took him off life support.

The teens lived together in the home of Cox’s parents, Cathy and Darrin Cox. His parents were home at the time of the incident, as was the seven-month-old baby girl Cox and Belmonte shared.

Cathy and Darrin Cox called 911 to report the shooting at 9:07 p.m. Monday.

Schlueter said the investigation remains open, as there are “still quite a few loose ends to tie up.”

Schlueter would not comment on any knowledge of what led to the shootings or where the gun Cox used came from.

Amor is in central Otter Tail County, about 23 miles northeast of Fergus Falls and 60 miles southeast of Fargo.

Check Inforum.com for updates on this story and read Thursday’s edition of The Forum.