UMPQUA, Ore. — The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate what it is calling a murder-suicide after a husband killed his wife, then took his own life. But family members say both were terminally ill.
Deputies say Dennis Black, 60, of Umpqua, killed his wife Linda Black, 59, then killed himself. On Monday evening, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a relative of the couple, saying they were dead. KEZI 9 News spoke with family members on Tuesday, who say they were both terminally ill. Pam Phelps, Dennis’s sister, says he had prostate cancer, and that Linda had a neurological auto-immune disorder. Phelps says soon, Linda would not have been able to swallow or use her arms or legs.
“I had a good relationship with them, said Dennis McKay, one of their neighbors. “They were real close with their mom. And they seemed real close with each other.”
Relatives say the Blacks were high school sweethearts, and had made a pact to leave this world together.
Deputies say they are wrapping up the case since there is no one for them to prosecute.