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The Denver Post
By Carlos Illescas
POSTED: 01/18/2012 01:00:00 AM MST
Police and investigators stand outside the Parker Rd. McDonalds near the intersection of Main Street and Parker Rd. Tuesday evening, December 27, 2011 after Donna Royer was shot and killed outside the restaurant. (Kenneth D. Lyons, The Denver Post)
Donna Royer in a photo taken in San Francisco. (Photo provided by D’Arcye Rogers)
A man who shot and killed his ex-wife in December and then took his own life did not have cancer, according to the Douglas County coroner’s office.
Coroner Lora Thomas on Tuesday released the autopsies of Donna Royer, 40, and Mark Royer, 53.
Mark Royer shot and killed Donna, his ex-wife, on Dec. 27 at a McDonald’s parking lot in Parker as their two daughters were inside.
Less than two hours later, authorities found Mark Royer near a Parker trailhead, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
On Christmas Day, Mark Royer sent an e-mail to his siblings, telling them he had terminal cancer. But Thomas said the tests on his body did not reveal any cancer.
The autopsy did show the presence of barbiturates in Mark Royer’s body, as well as trace amounts of the antidepressant nortriptyline.
Mark Royer had been going though financial, marital and emotional problems. His brother, Danny Royer, said Mark was having a hard time dealing with the divorce.
Danny Royer said Tuesday that the family held a memorial service for his brother Saturday in Logan, Utah, where his mother and other family members live.
He said his brother had prostate problems, so he wasn’t surprised when he wrote to say he had cancer. But maybe that was just his way of telling his family that he had had enough, Danny Royer said.
“I think maybe he was just trying to say, ‘I’ve had a good life and family,’ and he was giving hints he was suicidal,” Danny Royer said.
Also, the autopsy on Donna Royer noted that she was eight weeks pregnant.
A friend told The Denver Post after the shooting that Donna Royer had told her she was pregnant but she didn’t think her ex-husband knew of the pregnancy.
The autopsy said Donna Royer was shot three times.
Another friend of Donna Royer’s told The Post in the days after the shooting that Mark Royer had invited Donna and her fiancé to the McDonald’s that evening.
Mark Royer had apparently told the two that he was leaving town and wanted to discuss the former couple’s two girls, ages 11 and 14. But Donna talked her fiancé out of going with her to the fast-food restaurant, the friend said.
Carlos Illescas: 303-954-1175 or firstname.lastname@example.org