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Elderly couple in Missouri are charged in 4 cold-case killings in Wyoming

A couple quietly living out their golden years in the Missouri Ozarks have been charged with killing their ex-spouses and two children, then hiding the bodies — cases that went cold decades ago.

The couple, Gerald and Alice Uden, both in their 70s, are awaiting extradition to Wyoming, where the killings took place five years apart in the 1970s and 1980.

It was not clear how the couple met or whether the killings were connected to their eventual marriage. Prosecutors declined comment, and court officials said Tuesday that neither yet had a lawyer, Reuters reported.

Gerald Uden confessed to shooting his wife, Virginia, and her sons Richard, 12, and Reagan, 10, authorities in Wyoming said. He took them in his car to hunt birds, then used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot them and hid the bodies, according to an affidavit.

Those killings were in 1980. Five or six years earlier, Alice Uden shot her husband, Richard Holtz, in the back of a head with a .22 while he slept — then wrapped the body in a blanket, stuffed it in a barrel and dropped it into a mine shaft, the authorities said.

The shaft was excavated in August, and investigators found Holtz’s body 40 feet below the earth, according to the affidavit. Alice Uden confessed to the shooting, which took place in 1974 or 1975, after they had been married only a few months, the affidavit said.

A neighbor told The Associated Press that the Udens and several adult children lived on 60 acres of land in Chadwick, Mo., near Springfield and the Mark Twain National Forest, for about 15 years.

They worked as long-haul truckers and were rarely home, the neighbor said. He said that their rig was towed off the property Monday.

The Udens appeared in court earlier this week in Missouri and agreed to extradition to Wyoming, according to Missouri authorities. Alice Uden, at her court appearance, asked that her daughter take all her personal property, the authorities said.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.