Stamford CT woman kills mother-commits suicide www.privateofficer.com
STAMFORD CT May 14 2012– A middle-aged woman killed her elderly mother with a double-barreled shotgun and then killed herself inside their foreclosed Long Ridge Road home, Stamford police said.
Officers found their bodies just after 1 p.m. Friday while checking on the mother and daughter who lived at 1214 Long Ridge Road following reports from concerned neighbors, according to Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin. The neighbors told police they hadn’t seen the mother and daughter recently and were worried for their well-being.
Police said the shooting occurred sometime in the past 48 hours.
Conklin would not identify the mother and daughter because investigators were working to contact their relatives. According to public records, Florence Beran, 85, owned the house and lived with her daughter, Susan, 57. Conklin said the daughter did not leave a suicide note, but the couple became increasingly reclusive in recent months as they dealt with mounting financial pressures.
“Neighbors who communicated with them and helped them out with food and donations saw less and less of them over recent months,” Conklin said.
The mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, and the daughter served as her caretaker, neighbors said. Police said the mother and daughter owed $50,000 in taxes to the city of Stamford and their house was in foreclosure. The home, which was surrounded by an overgrown lawn and left in disrepair, was sold during an auction last month, police said.
Electricity had been cut off from the house several months before Friday. The mother and daughter collected water with plastic jugs since their utilities had been shut off, Conklin said.
On Friday afternoon, responding officers found a “gruesome” scene when they used a ladder to enter the small, gray four-bedroom home through a second-story window, Conklin said. The front doors and first-floor windows were locked. Officers found the daughter’s body in a second-floor bedroom and her mother at the bottom of stairs on the first floor.
Animal control officers took four small dogs into custody as investigators processed the murder scene, removing the shotgun in a large, brown paper bag. The bodies were taken from the house on stretchers at about 6 p.m. Friday, shortly before police cleared the area.
Investigators believe the daughter used her deceased father’s shotgun to kill her mother, and then took her own life an unknown time later. Officers confiscated several hunting rifles and handguns that belonged to the daughter’s father, who died several years ago.
The mother died within 48 hours of the discovery of her body. A more exact time of death is pending further investigation. Police did not receive any reports of gunfire in the area before Friday afternoon, most likely because of the secluded location and heavy traffic from Long Ridge Road, Conklin said.
One neighbor, a woman who declined to give her name, said she made the call to police that led to the discovery of the murder-suicide. She said Susan took care of her mother for several years and described her as a “wonderful person.”
“I’m afraid they didn’t think they had anyone to turn to,” the neighbor said, adding: “When people feel desperate, there are people out there who care. They didn’t have to take their own lives.”
Conklin said investigators contacted a lawyer involved in the home’s sale Friday afternoon and learned that the mother and daughter were to receive between $200,000 and $250,000 from the transaction, after their owed taxes and other debts were subtracted from the sale proceeds. The buyers tried unsuccessfully to contact the mother and daughter following the sale, Conklin said.
“It’s certainly a tremendous tragedy, especially right before Mother’s Day,” Conklin said