Elderly man kills self; said he killed wife with Alzheimer’s

DELTONA, FL (AP) — A 75-year-old man fatally shot himself while deputies were visiting his house to conduct a welfare check on his wife, and he left behind a hand-written suicide note saying he had buried her in the backyard, authorities in Florida said Wednesday.

Laurence Caulfield admitted that he killed his wife in the note, and officials were searching the yard for her body, the Volusia County Sheriff’s department said in a news release.

Deputies visited the home in Deltona, northeast of Orlando, Tuesday night after an out-of-state relative reported receiving a letter from Caulfield that said he was having a difficult time coping physically and emotionally as his wife suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, the release said. The relative told detectives that she hadn’t spoken to the couple in months.

Caulfield included with the letter the couple’s will, life insurance policy and other financial documents, the sheriff’s department said.

“He also has guns in the house, and I’m concerned,” the caller told dispatchers, according to the sheriff’s office. “The way it’s been written is a concern, a strong concern.”

Deputies went to the house and spoke briefly with Caulfield, who told them his wife suffered from Alzheimer’s and he had moved her to Kansas City to stay with friends of the family.

When deputies asked how they could get in touch with her, he told them to call his daughter in New Jersey, who had the information, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Caulfield went back inside the house while deputies called the daughter, who said she knew nothing about her mother moving to Kansas City. Deputies grew concerned and began knocking on the front door but no one answered, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies then heard a shot from the back of the house and found a wounded Caulfield with a shotgun by his side. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s