August 5, 2011

USA: Family Calls Elderly Couple Murder-suicide "An act of love"

BERTIE COUNTY, North Carolina / / News / August 5, 2011

Authorities say an 87-year-old man shot and killed his 86-year-old wife in their Windsor home and then turned the gun on himself over worries no one could care for his wife, Dorothy, who had Alzheimer's disease.

Frank Cowan, 87, had just recovered from pneumonia and was worried if he died no one would be able to take care of his wife, Dorothy, 86, who had Alzheimer's disease. Family members told WNCT Frank's love for his wife was so strong that he just couldn't bear the thought of leaving the world without her.

Around 7 a.m. Thursday, Dianne Mobley discovered her parents bodies in their home. Frank shot Dorothy, before turning the gun on himself.

"This was an act of love. In his mind, with my mom's Alzheimer's and his recent illnesses that is what he felt was the only way out," Mobley told WNCT.

According to WNCT, Frank served in the Navy and worked at a volunteer fire department for 47 years. Dorothy loved her garden and, according to family members, the couple went to Bojangles together for breakfast almost every morning.

"They were a loving couple. They were always concerned about each other. They always held hands when they walked out of the clinic," family doctor Kirk Philpot told WNCT.

The couple, who met in 8th grade, would have celebrated their 67th anniversary in October.

Source: WNCT. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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