Aiken husband and wife dead in apparent murder-suicide

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December 28, 2006

AIKEN, S.C.---Aiken County investigators say an Aiken man shot his wife and then himself to death.

It happened at 2218 Hillsdale Drive, in the Foxchase subdivision.

Investigators think 73-year-old Carl Lee shot 72-year-old Virginia Lee while she was in bed, made a 911 call reporting two bodies, then pulled the trigger on himself.

This news is shocking neighbors in the quiet horse community.

80-year-old Linwood McMichael, "Mac" to his friends, has called Hillsdale Drive home for decades. He didn't know what to think when he heard a gunshot coming from across the street.

"I kind of dismissed it. Then when I came back from the store, all these police cars were here," he told News 12. "I said, 'Something really bad has happened.'"

Then he saw crime scene tape in his neighbor's front yard and forensics investigators inside the house. Next, there was a knock on his door, and deputies broke the news.

"When something like this happens almost next door to you, it's kind of hard to take. It really is," he said.

Investigators say a man called 911 around 10 o'clock Thursday morning reporting two bodies at the address. When they got to the scene, they found the wife in her bed and her husband on the back porch, both shot to death with a rifle.

"What we see is not as surprising as what other people see, unfortunately, but I would not say this is a common occurrence," said Capt. Charles Barranco.

It's especially uncommon because Capt. Barranco says there have never been any reports of domestic violence at the home before.

Mac says the quiet couple was having money trouble. But he never thought their problems would lead to what looks like a murder-suicide.

"Why would you want to do that? Just because you don't want to live doesn't mean your wife doesn't," he said.

The sheriff's office is still trying to figure out exactly how it all happened. Right now they think the man shot his wife, made the 911 call, then shot himself.

There was also a note on the scene. It's still part of the investigation so we don't know who wrote it or what it says, but it could give us a better idea of why this all happened.