Mount Angel man strangles ex-girlfriend's mother before taking his own life with a gun, as police surrounded house Saturday morning

A Mount Angel man ended his own life after apparently strangling his ex-girlfriend’s mother during a 10-hour standoff with police Saturday morning.

Daniel Cuanas, 24, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after he strangled Kathleen Schwartz, 64, to death. Schwartz is the mother of Cuanas’ ex-girlfriend, Elizabeth Schwartz, and grandmother to his 15-month-old son.

According to Mount Angel police, Elizabeth Schwartz was able to escape the house at 775 St. Mary’s Circle with her son and notified police around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. She told police Cuanas was inside the home with her mother, was armed with firearms and was threatening suicide.

When officials reached the scene, Cuanas continually told police to shoot him. Mount Angel police officers brought in officials from Woodburn Police Department’s Tactical Services Unit, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Silverton Police Department.

The final communication with the suspect was around 5 a.m., when he told police the gunshot they had just heard was an accidental discharge of a gun.

When police were finally able to position themselves outside the house’s windows around 10 a.m., they saw Cuanas slumped over a gun inside. They found him with a handgun within arm’s reach and a shotgun in his lap. He was dead from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to an updated release from Mount Angel police.

Cuanas also left a note at the scene indicating he had strangled Kathleen Schwartz. The medical examiner later confirmed that the cause of her death was ligature strangulation.

Police said it appears Kathleen Schwartz, whose body was also found in the home, may have died before police involvement.

“Through evidence retrieved at the house, I am comfortable (saying) that she had died earlier in the night, but the exact time was not determined,” Mount Angel Police Chief Mike Healy said.

Cuanas’ last status on Facebook reads, “Sorry world,” having been posted in the wee hours of Aug. 9. According to his Facebook page, Cuanas had attended North Marion High School and worked at BrucePac. Also according to Facebook, Elizabeth Schwartz still listed that she was engaged to Cuanas.

Oregon State Police and Marion County and State Medical Examiners are assisting the Mount Angel Police Department in the ongoing investigation. Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Healy at 503-845-9294.

Lindsay Keefer covers Hubbard, Mount Angel and St. Paul. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-765-1193.

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