Elderly couple found shot dead wanted to end their suffering, confess murder-suicide in note left for police
Their bodies remained outside their duplex for days as passersby assumed that they were an elaborate Halloween set up
An elderly couple was found shot dead in north Arkansas on November 5. The deaths were ruled a murder-suicide by gunshot after police realized that the pair had left instructions for them, along with a will for their attorney.
The bodies of Larry Skeen, 80, and his wife Sharon Skeen, 75, were discovered behind their duplex on Embassy Court after passersby alerted the authorities. Embassy Court is a section of a retirement village made up of duplexes and triplexes in Mountain Home, not far from the city’s main hospital.
Investigators, after probing, learnt that the bodies had been lying there for days and a few people had seen them days earlier and thought they were an elaborate Halloween set up.
Lt Eddie Griffin with the Mountain Home Police Department, while talking to Fox16 about the incident, said, "The weather had been cool during that time frame so the bodies were well preserved. If somebody heard they were found and thought to be a Halloween decoration, you automatically think ‘How can that be?'"
Authorities soon learnt that the crime had been preplanned by the couple, who had posted a letter on the back door, asking police to come inside. "There was actually a letter posted on the back door telling the police to come inside and telling some of the details about where we would find things and what they wanted done," Griffin said.
“It was a murder-suicide by gunshot, but I’m not comfortable describing the details of what we saw," he added. Authorities believe that Larry shot his wife with a revolver and then pulled the trigger on himself.
The couple also left directions to their wills and the contact information for their attorney. The pair, in their letter, revealed that they had been battling illnesses for a while and no longer wanted to remain alive. They also mentioned a son with whom they had not spoken in years, they, however, expressed no interest in him being notified of their deaths.
"With anybody, you’re very saddened by it and pertaining to something like this,” Griffin told the outlet. "I think the main thing is if you have elderly loved ones in your life, be there…it may make all the difference."
Skeens' last known contact was with a worker at a nearby animal hospital who told officers that the couple had dropped off their dog and had asked what would happen to it if they never returned.