Light heavyweight Justin Levens and his wife Sara McLean-Levens were found dead Wednesday from gunshot wounds in their home in Laguna Niguel, Calif., the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed to Sherdog.com. Levens was 28 years old.
“Preliminarily, until they finish the investigation, it is being looked at as a murder-suicide,” said Lt. V. Wilson.
Initial evidence suggests Justin Levens was the shooter, said O.C. Sheriff Coroner’s Office spokesman Jim Amormino, though ballistics and residue testing is still pending. No suicide note was found at the scene.
The bodies were discovered by Sara McLean-Levens’ mother, who notified authorities. Deputies and investigators arrived at the home on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. PST.
“Sara’s mother hadn’t heard from her for five days, so she entered the residence and found them both dead in bed,” said Amormino.
Amormino said it appeared that the bodies had been there a couple of days. Authorities also took into custody what appeared to be prescribed painkillers and anti-depressant medication, though they were not found in the standard-marked pharmaceutical containers denoting whom they belonged to.
Levens had tested positive for the painkiller oxymorphone in pre-fight testing for a bout against Ray Lazama at Affliction "Banned" on July 19 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., according to the California State Athletic Commission. The bout had been cancelled that night due to time constraints.
Autopsies were to be conducted on both bodies Thursday, as part of an “open, ongoing” investigation, said Amormino.
A standout on the central California circuit, Levens found early success in the World Extreme Cagefighting promotion and went undefeated in his first seven fights.
Levens made his Octagon debut against Evan Tanner at UFC 59 in April 2006, but lost to the seasoned veteran via a first-round triangle choke submission.
A stint with the IFL followed, where Levens fought for his mentor Marco Ruas’ Southern California Condors team and went 0-3.
In his last bout, Levens (9-8) was submitted in the first round by Kenny Ento at the Palace Fighting Championships in Lemoore, Calif.
Jeff Sherwood contributed to this report.
Note: This article was updated at 1:10 p.m. EST to include new information regarding the crime scene.