Gulfport Police Officer Ray Marshall responded to a neighbor’s call for a welfare check on Julia and Gordon Champion, both 80. Six days of newspapers in the front yard prompted the check. Marshall entered the property through an unlocked door, where he found the elderly couple dead.
Police say both victims appear to have died from gunshot wounds.
“All leads thus far do point to murder/suicide,” Gulfport Police Public Information Officer Tom Woodman said.
Neighbors tell the Gabber they believe Mrs. Champion may have shown signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Police are awaiting a doctor’s verification on this.
Also found in the home was an elderly dachshund. Neighbors took possession of the dachshund and a local Gulfport couple says they are prepared to adopt the dog if the Champions’ son, who lives in New York, does not want it.
Also found at the scene was a cat, allegedly shut in a room. Pinellas County Animal Services took possession of the cat Sunday.
Police would not say if the couple left a note. The case remains under investigation.