|Police say Dec. shooting deaths ruled murder-suicide|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
January 23, 2004 -- The deaths of a 62-year-old Sulphur Springs woman and a 77-year-old Sulphur Springs man in December have been ruled a murder-suicide, according to police investigators.
Marilyn Graf shot and killed 77-year-old Odie Udell McAfee before turning the .25-cal. semi-automatic firearm on herself at their McCann Street residence in early December, Sulphur Springs Police Inv. Monty Tipps said Wednesday.
"We recently got the autopsy results back from Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas," Tipps said. "Our determination is that Marilyn Graf fired one shot and killed Odie McAfee and then turned the gun on herself. There was no gunpowder residue on McAfee. No evidence of a struggle or fight."
Tipps said the "atomic absorption" swab of both Graf and McAfee's hands showed gunpowder residue on only 62-year-old Graf, supporting police findings that indicate Graf fired one shot into McAfee before committing suicide.
The information also supports statements taken from both Graf and McAfee's family members that the woman had threatened suicide in the past.
"Throughout the investigation we were told that suicide or the possibility of murder-suicide had been threatened by Graf in the past. Family members for both sides indicated that they felt like maybe she was capable of it," Tipps explained.
Graf's daughter-in-law, went to her residence at 216 McCann around 4:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, after not hearing from Graf for a number of days. She found both Graf and McAfee at the kitchen table, each with a single gunshot wound to the head. The pistol was found nearby.
Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup estimated the pair to have died sometime the day before, but ordered an autopsy of both bodies.
The couple, neighbors noted Dec. 1, had engaged in loud disturbances and altercations in recent months. Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk said during the initial stages of the investigation that he was aware of at least one occasion in which officers responded at the house, but was not certain for what cause.
The fact that the house was closed and bore no signs of forced entry led police to believe the deaths were self inflicted or as a result of murder-suicide.