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Amherst police probe apparent murder-suicide

An apparent murder-suicide Friday involving an elderly couple has shocked a quiet Amherst neighborhood.

It was a surreal scene for the residents of Dawnbrook Lane, who in the early-morning hours saw their quiet, tree-lined street off North Forest Road turn into a hub of activity.

Police cruisers swarmed the neighborhood as Amherst police descended on 107 Dawnbrook, a small brick ranch where a man and woman in their 80s have lived quietly for years.

An ambulance drove by before the neighbors’ worst fears came to pass. They saw an unmarked van pull up to the home and one man who they believed to be a coroner enter the home. Two gurneys, covered but with the outlines of bodies on them, were then taken out of the home and put into the vehicle.

Amherst police labeled the situation an “apparent murder/suicide” and said two deceased people were found in the home. They declined to elaborate and withheld the identities pending notification of next of kin.

Neighbors said they were shocked to see their sleepy cul de sac neighborhood the scene of a murder.

“We don’t even get many EMS calls – it’s very, very rare,” said Deborah Lewis, who lives across the street and two doors down from the home.

So to see a fleet of police cars and two of her neighbors being carried out of the home was a shock, she said. “It’s a perfect neighborhood,” she said. “It’s a quiet, idyllic suburban neighborhood.”

Most neighbors keep to themselves, she added, and there had been no suspicious activity at the elderly couple’s house in the two years she and her husband have lived on the street.

Another woman walking her dog down the street in the mid-afternoon was incredulous when told of the situation. She said she was shocked and that such an act was rare in the area.