Husband and wife found dead in 'tragic incident'
An elderly couple has died in a suspected murder-suicide. Police made the gruesome discovery of a woman's body at a house and her husband's body was found at nearby Stockton Beach today.
Police and paramedics were called to a home in Stockton at 6am following concerns for the welfare of its occupants.
The woman, 75, was found inside her home while the man, 76, was found in the surf at nearby Stockton Beach.
NSW Police acting superintendent Gerard Lawson described the discovery of the bodies as a "tragic incident".
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"It's a little too early to speculate what has occurred but believe it has been a tragic incident today. The family are certainly suffering a horrific loss of parents," he said, adding the couple had been married for several decades and each were suffering from "medical issues".
"At the moment we're not aware of any diagnosed illness but we do believe they were suffering from illnesses related to ageing," he said.
"We're not looking for any weapons at this stage and nor are we looking for a third party.
"There were some obvious injuries but I don't want to go into it. For the sake of the family I don't want to speculate."
Supt Lawson said they found the man in the water and believe he drowned.
A post mortem will confirm the cause of both their deaths but it may be classed as a murder-suicide.
"It's a nasty way to think of it given the circumstances and the tragedy that has unfolded but it would have some common features to suggest that nature," Supt Lawson said.
"This came without any forewarning to the family.
"It is a tragedy, it is so sad that these things happen from time to time.
"Even police have been affected by this story."
The couple's dog was found at the scene and is now with a family member.
"Their very loyal dog didn't want to leave the house, very sad," Supt Lawson said.
"That's one of the most emotional parts about it, the dog didn't want to leave the house this morning but she has gone to family."
A neighbour said: "I didn't know him very well but I used to see him at the park with dogs all the time, picking up rubbish near the swing and used to say hello over the fence.
"I felt sick when I heard about what happened. Poor man."
Crime scenes were set up at both the house and at Stockton Beach and police will review the medical histories of both the husband and wife.
Detectives will await the outcome of post mortem examinations to determine the direction of further inquiries and a report will be prepared for the coroner.