Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sunset Hills, MO: Police Investigating Murder-Suicide In Sunset Hills

11/02/2012 - Sunset Hills police are investigating what appears to be a murder-suicide after an elderly man and woman were found dead in their home in the early hours of Sunday, Oct. 28.

Wayne Bales, 73, and Monique Martin, 72, were found dead in an upstairs bedroom of their two-story brick home on Maclane Court, Sunset Hills Police Chief William LaGrand said.

Both died from a single gunshot wound to the head, he said. Based on evidence at the scene, police believe Martin shot Bales before turning the gun on herself.

"The male victim was laying flat on his back in the bed and the female victim was laying on the floor face down on the other side of the bed," LaGrand said. "We believe it was a murder-suicide."

LaGrand said although police are treating the incident as a murder-suicide, the investigation is continuing.

The couple was supposed to be leaving for a vacation with friends that morning, LaGrand said. When they didn't show up at the airport and their friends could not reach them, they called Bales' brother, who then went to the house and found them dead, police said.

The bodies were found about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, LaGrand said, adding preliminary evidence indicates the shootings occurred at least a few hours before that.

Maclane Court is located off of Rott Road just west of Laumeier Sculpture Park. The entrance to the cul-de-sac is marked with a "Laumeier Park Estates" sign.

Nathan Mathes, Bales' grandson, confirmed the couple was set to go on a Caribbean cruise the morning they were found dead. He said Bales and Martin were not married, but had lived together for several years.

Authorities said they are unaware of any prior problems the couple may have had. LaGrand said there was no suicide note and police are searching for a possible motive in the case. The chief said police are investigating whether Martin was suffering from depression, but declined to elaborate.

Mathes said his grandfather owned and operated Bales Auto Sales at 503 Gravois Road in Fenton.

"This was his and he's been in the same location for about 50 years, give or take," said Mathes, who works at the shop.

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