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Published April 27, 2011, 08:29 AM

Reports provide details of teen murder-suicide

BATTLE LAKE, Minn. (AP) — New sheriff's reports provide details of the night a teenager shot the mother of his baby and then took his own life in Battle Lake.

BATTLE LAKE, Minn. (AP) — New sheriff's reports provide details of the night a teenager shot the mother of his baby and then took his own life in Battle Lake.

The mother of 17-year-old Dylan Cox was trying to ease tensions between her son and 16-year-old Tabitha Belmonte the night of the shooting March 21, according to investigative reports from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department. The two teens and their baby lived with Cox's parents and tried to make their relationship work in the seven months since their baby was born, but it had not been going well, according to investigators.

That night, Dylan and Tabitha argued about breaking up and whether they should go to the prom together. After Dylan's mother, Catherine Cox, gave the baby a bath about 8 p.m., Tabitha approached her and said Dylan had packed her bags and this time it looked like their relationship was over. Tabitha took the bag and went up to a second-floor loft where she had been staying with the baby.

Dylan went to his mother in a bedroom and began to apologize over and over, then closed the door as he left. Dylan armed himself with two pistols his grandfather had given him, went to the loft and fatally shot Tabitha, hitting her with four shots before killing himself.

In 53-pages of investigative reports released to The Forum after an open records request, Otter Tail County sheriff's detectives consider the case closed.

Both sets of the infant's grandparents are vying for custody of the baby.

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