“Several notes were left, citing serious and persistent medical problems with the wife and expressing concern that they could not afford medical care,” said the sheriff’s office.

 

An elderly husband and wife died in an apparent murder-suicide in Washington State, and police say they found notes about the couple’s difficulties in obtaining necessary medical care.

A 77-year-old man called 911 Wednesday morning saying he intended to commit suicide, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook message.

Members went to Ferndale, a town about 100 miles north of Seattle, near the Canadian border, and settled outside. A crisis negotiator tried to contact the couple at home by phone and speaker for about an hour, said the sheriff’s office Wednesday evening.

They then found the man and his wife, 76 years old, dead inside. The authorities are investigating the case as a murder-suicide.

Medical costs appear to have been a factor.

“Several notes were left, citing serious and persistent medical problems with the wife and expressing concern that the couple did not have enough resources to pay for medical care,” the sheriff said in his statement.

The police are not releasing the couple’s names at this time. Two dogs found alive in the house were taken to a local humanitarian society. Many firearms were also found in the house.

“It is very tragic that one of our elders finds himself in such desperate circumstances,” said Sheriff Bill Elfo in a statement.

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