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Investigation continues in Forestville killings

After working through the weekend, Sonoma County sheriff's detectives expect to work around the clock until they make an arrest in last week's triple homicide in Forestville or run out of leads.

Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said Monday deputies had plenty of information to follow up on.

"These cases, we really work nonstop until we exhaust all leads or we make an arrest," he said. "That's just how they work."

The three victims were gunned down in a small house off Ross Station Road near Highway 116 during what detectives believe was a marijuana deal that went bad.

The victims included Sonoma County native Raleigh Butler, 24, whose mother rented the house but was out of town. The other two -- Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo., and Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y. -- were believed to have come to the area to take part in the deal, authorities said.

Detectives said they believe the trio planned to buy a large amount of marijuana from a third party or parties unknown and were in the same room at the rural house when killed.

Their bodies were found by Butler's brother and the brother's girlfriend, who went to check on him when unable to reach him by phone.

O'Leary said last week some investigators had been on the road checking information, but he declined Monday to say whether any had gone to New York or Colorado to help track down a suspect.

"But we have been extremely busy," he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or mary.callahan@pressdemocrat.com.


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