homepage logo

85-year-old man kills girlfriend and self

By Staff | May 31, 2012

WATSONTOWN – A woman who was moving out with the hope of living on her own was shot to death by her elderly boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself inside the couple’s Delaware Township home, according to state police and neighbors.

Earl Beck, 85, shot Joann Mitchell, 69, in the chest and then shot himself inside the house at 232 Shreck Road, sometime between noon and 5 p.m. It is believed the two were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police provided no details about what sparked the murder-suicide, but neighbors told WNEP they saw furniture being carried out of the house as well as the couple arguing with one another.

“People were moving her stuff out. She wanted to live in an apartment by herself,” neighbor Melinda LeBarron told the news station, referring to Mitchell.

Neighbors said they believed Mitchell had moved in with Beck earlier this month.

“I’ve been here 18 1/2 years and it’s been the same. The man mows the grass every weekend. He was quiet. The woman took walks down the road every once in a while,” neighbor Carol Newcomer said.

Neighbors said they were “shocked” by the shooting.