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Coroner identifies Hamilton residents killed in murder-suicide

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 14:25:17-04

HAMILTON, Ohio -- Police found two people dead of an apparent murder-suicide Tuesday afternoon on Mourning Dove Lane. 

John L. Witters, 72, and Donna J. Witters, 75, both died of gunshot wounds to the head, Butler County Coroner Lisa Mannix said Wednesday. 

Mannix ruled Donna Witters' dead as a homicide and John Witters' death as a suicide. 

According to a news release from the Hamilton Police Department, a family member discovered the bodies around 4 p.m. and called officers to the scene. Police did not immediately release the identities of the victims, but Sgt. Brian Robinson said they were a couple in their 70s who had each dealt with long-term health issues.

The incident shocked neighbors who said they never would have anticipated such an act.

"You couldn't ask for better neighbors," Carol Pinkston, who knew the pair, said. "They both were sweethearts."

Pinkston and other neighbors described the victims as kind-hearted, outgoing and friendly.

"They're part of our family, so it just really breaks my heart that this has happened," Pinkston said. "It'll be a huge loss in our neighborhood."