An elderly couple in Washington state was found dead in their home in an apparent murder-suicide with police finding several notes in the home explaining they could not afford to pay for medical care for her serious health conditions.
A 77-year-old man living near Ferndale, Wash., identified by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel, called 911 Wednesday morning and told the dispatcher he was contemplating suicide, according to a Facebook post from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office wrote that the dispatcher tried to keep the man on the line, but he hung up, saying, “We will be in the front bedroom.”
When deputies arrived at the scene minutes later, a crisis negotiator “attempted to contact the occupants of the home” for an hour.
Deputies then deployed a “robot mounted camera” into the home and saw the man and his wife were dead.
Both appear to have died from a gunshot wound.
Several notes were reportedly left in the home “citing severe ongoing medical problems with the wife and expressing concerns that the couple did not have sufficient resources to pay for medical care,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
“It is very tragic that one of our senior citizens would find himself in such desperate circumstances where he felt murder and suicide were the only option. Help is always available with a call to 9-1-1,” Bill Elfo, Whatcom County Sheriff, said in the post.
Two dogs were also found in the house and have been taken to a local Humane Society. “Numerous” firearms were also found.
The sheriff’s office is now investigating the case as a murder-suicide.