Local News

Authorities suspect murder-suicide in Chatham couple's deaths

Posted August 30, 2011 2:18 p.m. EDT
Updated August 30, 2011 2:21 p.m. EDT

— 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.