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A Salt Lake City defense attorney confirmed Thursday that his parents died Monday in a suspicious house fire at the couple's Arizona home.
Police are investigating the fire at the Paradise Valley home of Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro, ages 79 and 78, respectively, as a homicide-arson. The bodies were found bound in the house's master bedroom, police said.
Paradise Valley police also confirmed Thursday evening that the Maricopa County Medical Examiners Office had positively identified the remains of the Shapiros using dental records.
The Shapiros are the parents of David and Steven Shapiro, who have practiced law in Utah for nearly two decades.
Steven Shapiro said the family was first notified by some of his parents' neighbors about what had happened.
"We were frequently together," Steven Shapiro said of his parents during a phone interview. "They had a home in Salt Lake and were frequently in town to visit their grandchildren. We were in touch often."
Police went to the Shapiro home on Monday after Phoenix police found a burning car registered to the couple's address about 20 miles away in the Scottsdale area.
A fire crew was called when an officer saw smoke coming from the home. The bodies were found bound inside the master bedroom, where police said one of two fires was started. Another fire is believed to have been started in a different area of the home, police said.
Alan Laitsch, commander with Paradise Valley police, said a motive for the crime has yet to be determined. Investigators recovered evidence from the home and are currently working on active leads, Laitsch said.
Assisting in the investigation are Phoenix police department, Maricopa County Arson Task Force, the U.S. Secret Service and Maricopa County Attorney's.
Steven Shapiro said the family has felt the support of the entire Phoenix community. "People seem to be very taken by the randomness and violence of the act and the senselessness of the act," he said.
According to the family's website, http://www.glennalawrenceshapiro.com, Lawrence Shapiro was a gastroenterologist in Phoenix for many years. He served in the Arizona medical community in Medicare quality improvement leadership roles and founded the Health Services Advisory Group, a nonprofit organization.
Glenna Shapiro served as the CEO of the National Kidney Foundation for nearly 30 years and was a member of several boards including the Phoenix Symphony and the Women's Board of Barrow Neurological Institute.
In 2010, the couple started The Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro Family Foundation to support other organizations. The family requested donations to the foundation in lieu of flowers.
A statement posted on family website says: "We are working with the investigators to help facilitate a thorough investigation to apprehend and bring to justice those who were responsible."
"We're struggling to deal with a very difficult and traumatic event," Steven Shapiro said. "We are fortunate to have the support of loving friends and family."