DELTONA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Volusia County Sheriff's Office is investigating what they are calling a possible murder-suicide in Deltona, involving an elderly couple.
Deputies conducted a welfare check on the couple on Tuesday evening at their home on Canterbury Street, after being contacted by a relative who had recently received a package in the mail containing the couple's will, life insurance policy, their financial information and a letter.
Authorities said the package was sent by 75-year-old Laurence Caulfield, who wrote in that letter that his wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and that he was struggling to cope, both physically and emotionally.
"Deputies arrived at the residence and spoke to Caulfield, who confirmed that his wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and claimed that he had moved her to Kansas City to live with friends of the family. When deputies asked how they could get in contact with his wife, Caulfield said his daughter in New Jersey had all of the information," said Sheriff's Office spokesman Gary Davidson, "but when deputies spoke to the daughter, she said she didn't know anything about her mother moving to Kansas City."
Davidson said the daughter later was able to make contact with her father, who said that his wife was asleep in the house, so with concerns heightened, deputies returned to the home and began pounding on the door, but no one answered.
Deputies said they then heard a gunshot coming from the rear of the house and rushed to the backyard to find Caulfield on the ground with a gunshot wound and a gun by his side. When deputies entered the home to look for his wife, they found a small stack of papers which included the note from Caulfield, claiming that he had killed his ailing wife and buried her in the backyard.
Caulfield was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Deltona, where he was pronounced dead.
On Wednesday, investigators unearthed a body in the yard. Detectives will be working with the Medical Examiner's Office to establish positive identity.