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Authorities suspect murder-suicide in Chatham couple's deaths

Posted August 30, 2011

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— Chatham County authorities said Tuesday that they suspect a local man committed suicide Monday after killing his wife of more than 40 years.

Family members were concerned when they went to visit Earl Lee and Minnie Edwards at about 1:30 p.m. Monday and no one came to the door, authorities said. The couple was last seen on Sunday afternoon at church.

Paramedics were called to the house, at 370 Joe's Drive in northern Chatham County near Chapel Hill, and they found Earl Edwards, 65, dead in a bedroom, authorities said. Deputies then arrived and found Minnie Edwards, 67, dead in another room of the house.

“It appears Mr. Edwards took his own life with a firearm after ending the life of his wife,” Maj. Gary Blankenship of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “At this point, we have no reason to believe this case is anything but a murder-suicide.”

The bodies were transported UNC Hospitals for autopsies.

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  • Homeward Aug 31, 2011

    Of course I don't know the specifics in this tragic case, but typically an assisted death for a person and/or another person he loves is the last,desperate "fix" for their ailing souls AND bodies, and when they want to die together, these people who cared so deeply about the quality of their lives together, of course will care about the quality of the deaths together. And the law doesn't allow that. So they resort to guns, and unpleasant poisons, gas, and worse. They should have died peacefully, with peace and loving friends around. If you would like to see fewer stories of sick folks murdering themselves as opposed as making a gentle self-determination, visit: http://www.dignityindying.org.uk/

  • MarvinsWife12 Aug 30, 2011

    as400_guru - how do you know they aren't in heaven together? Are you God, or did God speak directly to you about this?

  • as400_guru Aug 30, 2011

    sunshine1040, if you are correct, chances are both together for all eternity. However, I doubt it is in heaven.

  • sunshine1040 Aug 30, 2011

    Could be one was seriously ill and felt they could not live with the pain and did not want to live without each other

  • cantstandya Aug 30, 2011

    Was there illness or financial problems,makes one wonder why after that many years,still makes no sense.

  • Iceman Aug 30, 2011

    This is the third incident in the last 2 weeks in the Triangle of the elderly (60+) leaving the world like this. I hope I don't feel like the is the only way out when I get this age.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 30, 2011

    Why? There are other ways, no matter the circumstances. Rebelyell55, you've peaked my curiosity. Was that a generic statement? Or are you privileged to inside info?

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 30, 2011

    The family know more about this, so comment are not needed. Hope the family gets through this minimum amount of pain.

  • Caring Aug 30, 2011

    I am hearing this more and more! What is up with people??? Is their lives so bad that they have to kill their spouse!