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Weekend death investigation a murder-suicide involving older married couple

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- The Allen County coroner confirms an older couple died in their Fort Wayne home in a murder-suicide.

Saturday, neighbors and family members asked police to check on the Peters at their home in the 4300 block of Albert Drive behind Ivy Tech's north campus because they hadn't seen or heard from them in a while.

The coroner ruled that 75-year-old Dick Peters shot his 71-year-old wife Jan, then shot himself.

Therese Trinity has lived two doors down from the Peters for 47 years, and said Jan was one of her best friends with their sons growing up together.

She asked us what happened to them.

"Oh my God. Oh, that's awful. Oh my God," Trinity said.

A shocked neighbor couldn't imagine what could have prompted the murder-suicide.

She says there was no indication anything was wrong between Dick and Jan, no history of violence, no new medical diagnosis, no financial troubles that she knew about.

Trinity called Jan her "emergency person," saying when she was in the hospital, Jan took her dog to the kennel, would pick things up for her at the store, and take her on errands.

She says the couple who retired not too long ago recently visited their daughter in Texas and their son and his family in South Carolina, even attending a family reunion for Jan about a week ago.

She can't understand why a couple who doted on their grandchildren would do this.

"I just don't believe this. I don't believe it. She was my good friend. There must have been something wrong," she said.

She says the Peters family survived a horrific crash in the 1970s when they were hit by a drunk driver, putting Jan in a full body cast for a year and shattering nearly every bone in Dick's face.

She says years later, Dick comforted her after she lost her daughter.

"I hope there's a heaven so that she would be happy. And he just said, 'There is a heaven.' Because I think when he had that bad car accident he almost died," Trinity said.

Trinity says Jan attended Saint Charles every Sunday, and that she was planning to bring Trinity with her to attend Easter services there next spring.

Investigators are still looking into what prompted the shootings, and would not say whether they found a note.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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