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Colorado man posts Facebook photos before murder-suicide try

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - A 22-year-old Colorado man posted photos of himself and his 19-month-old daughter, and messages to the toddler's mother, on Facebook before he shot the girl dead and turned the gun on himself, police said on Wednesday.

Police in the Denver suburb of Westminster are investigating whether Merrick McKoy made the postings on the social media network minutes before Monday's shooting, as local news outlets have reported, said police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke.

The girl, identified as Mia McKoy-Phanthavongsa, died from her wounds, and McKoy was transported to a hospital, where his condition was not disclosed.

"We are looking into when those postings went up," Spottke told Reuters, adding that police were interviewing the mother on Wednesday, who was estranged from McKoy.

The Denver affiliate of ABC News published screen-capture images from Facebook of what it said were photos of McKoy posing with his daughter, and messages to the girl's mother.

"I told u I can't live without u," one entry reads, according to KMGH-TV.

Westminster police investigator Wayne Read said in a statement that the mother, who has not been identified, placed an emergency-911 call to report that she awoke Monday morning in her apartment to see McKoy standing over her, brandishing a handgun.

The couple argued, and the woman fled the apartment, leaving McKoy, who had a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting the woman, alone with the girl, Read said.

The mother went to a neighbor's home and called police. When police arrived, an officer heard a gunshot from inside the residence, Read said.

"Officers entered the apartment and discovered the child and the adult male ... both appeared to have gunshot wounds," Read said.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Bob Burgdorfer)

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