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Salem couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide

by Darlene J. Taylor

STAFF WRITER

SALEM -- Police have termed a Tuesday night shooting on Cross Street in Salem as a murder-suicide.

Troy R. Richmond, 60, and his estranged wife, Mary Lou Richmond, 57, were found lying on the floor inside the home with gunshot wounds, said Harrison County Sheriff Jim Jack.

"Apparently there had been some domestic issues. They were negotiating a legal separation or divorce," Jack said.

Mary Lou Richmond already had moved into an apartment, Jack said. She had returned to the home Tuesday morning to accompany him to a medical procedure, Jack said.

"There were two weapons used. The female was shot with a shotgun. He placed the gun on the countertop and placed her on the floor in a reclining position," Jack said. "He then shot himself in the mouth with a handgun that was still in his hand."

Witnesses told police that her car was there from about 10:30 a.m. until evening, and nobody saw them, Jack said.

"The female victim's sister contacted their brother. Once he was there, he could look inside and see them both lying on the floor," Jack said.

Officers from the Sheriff's Department and State Police, as well as emergency personnel, then were called to the scene.

"The brother allowed us to force entry into the locked home. Both were (dead on scene). The residence was checked for anyone else. There was no one else in the home," Jack said. "There was no sign of a struggle."

Sheriff's Lt. Rodney Broadwater and Deputy Bill Sothen are lead investigators. They are being assisted by the State Police Crime Scene Response Team.

Police are hoping to have confirmation from the medical examiners office today of the cause of death, Jack said.

"We feel it is an open-and-shut case. There were no signs of any vandalism or theft," Jack said.

Staff writer Darlene J. Taylor can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at dtaylor@exponent-telegram.com