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Garner police investigating murder-suicide

Posted February 23, 2015
Updated February 24, 2015

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— Police on Tuesday identified two people found dead Saturday at a Garner home in what has been ruled a murder-suicide.

Officers went to a home on Hay River Street Saturday after a concerned neighbor reported that the couple who lives there had not been seen in more than a week.

They found Michael Wayne Benedetti, 46, dead of an apparent suicide and the body of Eileen Yinfenlai Benedetti, 57. Investigators said they are awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of her death.

Police said Garner officers have responded to two domestic incidents at the home, one in 2004 and the other in 2010, but no one was charged either time. They said they believe the deaths are a result of domestic violence.

Neighbors said the Benedettis lived in the house for about 10 years, and those who live in the close-knit community say the news has hit them hard.

"My heart goes out to the families, No. 1, and (we're) just hoping, as a community, we can come together and surround them and let them know we are thinking about them at this time," neighbor Kevin Russell said.

Neighbors said the Benedettis were friendly and engaging, but that they had heard that the couple has been going through marital problems.

One said Eileen Benedetti confided two weeks ago that she had recently learned that her husband has a drug problem.

Court records show police arrested Michael Benedetti in January for possession of drug paraphernalia.

"I was very surprised," Russell said of the deaths. "It's a peaceful neighborhood. You don't expect that to happen. You just don't know what's going on behind closed doors."


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