2 deaths being investigated as murder-suicide

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ST. GEORGE — Authorities are investigating the deaths of a Flagstaff, Arizona, man and woman as a suspected murder-suicide.

The discovery of the bodies was made when authorities responded to a request for a welfare check Wednesday at a residence south of Twin Arrows, according to a statement issued by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Thursday afternoon.

“The reporting party advised dispatch that her coworker had not shown up for work and was not answering the door,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

The concerned coworker drove to the residence and found that the owners’ vehicles were in the driveway, according to the statement, but she was unable to get anyone to answer the phone or the door.

When deputies arrived at the home at 11 a.m., they made forced entry.

Inside the home, officials located 55-year-old Mary Smeal and 57-year-old Jeffery Jones both deceased from apparent gunshot wounds, the Sheriff’s Office said, adding that Smeal and Jones had been in a domestic relationship.

“Evidence from the scene indicates that Mr. Jones shot Ms. Smeal and then shot himself,” officials said. Subsequently, the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide.

As this report is published, the case remains under investigation by the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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