A Florida man killed himself, leaving behind a suicide note saying he had buried his wife in the backyard, mere hours after police performed a welfare check on the elderly couple. A concerned relative had asked authorities to look in on them after receiving a “disturbing package in the mail from 75-year-old Laurence Caulfield,” according to the official police report. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports human remains were found on the Caulfield’s property as of late Wednesday, however, they have yet to be identified.
The relative said they hadn’t spoken to the Caulfield’s in several months. On Tuesday they received a packet that contained “the couple’s will and life insurance policy along with other financial information.” It also included a letter from Laurence Caulfield saying he was struggling to cope since his wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. According to the police report, the relative told the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office “He also has guns in the house, and I’m concerned.”
When deputies arrived at the couple’s home, Laurence Caulfield told them he had moved his wife to Kansas City to live with friends and family due to her illness. But when they tried to confirm this with the Caulfield’s daughter, she said didn’t know anything about it. She then called her father, who told her that her mother was home asleep. The daughter then alerted authorities, who returned to the house. While trying to enter, they heard a gunshot, and inside found Caulfield with a shotgun wound to his side, according to CBS News. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he later died.
The Orlando Sentinel reports deputies discovered a hand-written note within the house. In it, Laurence Caulfield confessed to killing his wife and burying her body in the backyard. Deputies have yet to locate Caulfield's wife. Human remains were found on the property Wednesday evening and an autopsy is expected to be performed either today or tomorrow. The couple had been married for 40 years and were well liked by their neighbors. “All indications are that they were a loving couple,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood Chitwood told the News-Journal. “This is just a sad situation all around.”