Topeka The sister of a Kansas legislator was shot to death outside her apartment Tuesday, apparently by her estranged husband who then took his own life.
Police called by one of the couple's 12-year-old twin daughters found Risa Schnegelsiepen, 39, dead in front of the building about 7:45 a.m. About two hours later, Vaughn Schnegelsiepen, 50, was found shot to death at a mobile home park. An older son of his called police reporting that his father had committed suicide.
State Rep. Rocky Nichols, D-Topeka, confirmed that Risa Schnegelsiepen was his sister, but declined further comment. The twin girls are in the custody of her parents, who live in Topeka.
The Schnegelsiepens were in the process of getting a divorce after 20 years of marriage, and according to court records she said he threatened numerous times to kill her and had beaten her.
She had filed a protection from abuse order against him, and then he filed for divorce July 17. Friday a judge dismissed the protection order at her request.
Monday, attorneys for both spouses jointly sought a mutual restraining order in connection with the divorce proceedings. It required that they have no contact with each other and not come around the other's dwelling or work place.
The order, signed by the attorneys and a Shawnee County district judge, was formally file-stamped at 12:23 p.m. Tuesday, almost five hours after police arrived at Mrs. Schnegelsiepen's apartment and found her dead.