WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. – An elderly couple that was found dead Wednesday morning in an apparent murder-suicide left notes about ongoing medical problems and high medical bills, according to police in Washington state.
Deputies responded to a home about 8:30 a.m. after a 77-year-old man called 911 and told the dispatcher, "I am going to shoot myself," the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.
The dispatcher attempted to keep the man on the line, but he disconnected after saying, "We will be in the front bedroom," according to authorities. He also reportedly indicated that he had prepared a note for the sheriff.
Deputies set up a perimeter around the house and spent an hour attempting to contact the occupants before deploying a robot-mounted camera, the sheriff's office said.
The man was found lying next to his 76-year-old wife. Both were dead from apparent gunshot wounds, police said. Detectives are investigating the case as a likely murder-suicide.
Several notes were found 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 investigators.
“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," said Sheriff Bill Elfo. "Help is always available with a call to 911.”
The names of the couple have not been released. Two dogs were found in the residence and turned over to the humane society, according to police.