Deaths of elderly couple found in northeast side home ruled homicide-suicide: coroner


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — An elderly couple found dead in a home Saturday have been identified.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office said Monday the deaths of Janet Joyce Peters and Richard Allen Peters in a home along Albert Drive was a homicide-suicide.

“Anytime you hear anything anybody that’s killed or died near you, it’s upsetting, threatening, scary,” said Dean Rodenbeck, who lives a block away from the Peters.

Fort Wayne Police investigate two deaths in a home on Albert Drive on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.

Fort Wayne Police were first called to the home in the Tamarack neighborhood, off Stellhorn and Reed roads, around 2 p.m. on a wellbeing check. Neighbors and family members said they had not heard from the couple in a few days, police said.

Officers eventually made entry into the home and found the couple unresponsive inside. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

The coroner’s office said 71-year-old Janet Peters died of a gunshot wound to the head and her death was ruled a homicide. Her husband, Richard Peters, 75, died of the same fate, and his death was ruled a suicide, the coroner’s office said.

Another neighbor, Lillian Anderson, said during the investigation on Saturday, she informed the Peters’ next door neighbor about why police officers were there.

“He was pretty shocked,” said Anderson. “He said that the woman was supposed to pick up his daughter, a couple days before on Thursday and that she didn’t show up and he didn’t think much of it. [He also said] that he didn’t see her and they didn’t see any lights on in the house for a couple of nights.”

Anderson added that as far as she knew, the Peters kept to themselves.

The deaths remain under investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department and the coroner’s office. The police department told WANE 15 there was “nothing additional to add” beyond what the coroner’s office ruled Monday.

The coroner’s office said there is no way to determine exactly when the deaths occurred.

“I think I speak for everyone in the neighborhood when I say our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” said Anderson.

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