Body found after man kills self, leaves note saying he buried wife, deputies say

Volusia County Sheriff's Office continues investigating in Deltona

DELTONA, Fla. – A 75-year-old man who shot and killed himself Tuesday at his Deltona home left a note saying that he had killed his wife and buried her body in the backyard -- and now, investigators have found a body, officials said.

A body was discovered buried in the yard at the house on Canterbury Street. Sheriff's detectives will work with the medical examiner's office to establish a positive identity, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.

Laurence Caulfield died in the shooting, and deputies earlier Tuesday searched the yard in an effort to find his wife's body, deputies said.

Investigators were called around 9:15 p.m. by a concerned family member who requested a well-being check on a woman at the home on Canterbury Street.

The caller, who lives out of state, said she hadn’t talked to the Caulfields in several months. She said she received a disturbing package in the mail from Laurence Caulfield that contained the couple’s will and life insurance policy, along with other financial information and contact information for the couple’s doctors.

The package also contained a letter from Caulfield, saying that his wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that he was struggling to cope physically and emotionally.

"He also has guns in the house, and I’m concerned,” the caller told the Sheriff’s Office. "The way it’s been written is a concern -- a strong concern."

Deputies said they spoke to Caulfield at his home and he told them he moved his wife to Kansas City to live with friends of the family.

Caulfield told them that his daughter in New Jersey had all his wife's contact information, but when they called her, she said she didn’t know anything about her mother moving to Kansas City, officials said.

Deputies said they heard a gunshot at the rear of the house around 10:30 p.m. and found Caulfield on the ground with a gunshot wound and a gun by his side. He was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Deltona, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

Deputies searched the home for his wife and found the note saying that he had killed and buried her.

"A couple gets older in life and they can't really take care of themselves anymore, but yet they're too proud to ask anyone for help," Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

Deputies said Friday that an autopsy had been completed on the female victim whose remains were found in the yard. The autopsy revealed that the woman had died from a gunshot wound, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies were still working to positively identify the woman. 

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