Harford County sheriff’s deputies are investigating an apparent murder-suicide of a husband and wife in Edgewood.
Jose Ermelindo Corea Mejia, 48, and Denia Yamileth Corea, 43, were found dead in their home in the 1600 block of Nuttal Avenue Wednesday. The initial investigation suggests that Mejia shot Corea before turning the gun on himself, police said.
A juvenile living in the home called sheriff’s deputies to Nuttal Avenue around 10:30, reporting someone suffering from a gunshot wound, according to the sheriff’s office. When deputies arrived, they were told at least two people were inside and one may have been shot.
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Cristie Hopkins said deputies tried to make contact with the home’s occupants, but nobody responded.
Deputies forced entry to the residence at around 10:55 a.m. and found an uninjured female, whom they moved outside. That female is not being identified, Hopkins said, but was at the home because she was friends with someone else who lived there and was not related to the deceased. Her friend was not home at the time police arrived.
Deputies found both Corea and Mejia deceased on the ground in an upstairs bedroom, the office reported. Both were shot in the head with a handgun, Hopkins said. There were no obvious signs of a struggle, Hopkins said, but the events leading up to the shooting are under investigation.
The bodies were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine their cause and manner of death. The motive for the incident is unknown, as is the time of death for both Corea and Mejia, police said.
The incident is the third murder-suicide the sheriff’s office has investigated in the past five weeks.
On Oct. 15, a 38-year-old man shot and killed his 3-year-old son before killing himself in their Bel Air home. Jason Douglas DeWitt and his son, Grayson DeWitt, were found dead at their home 600 block of High Plain Drive, after a friend of DeWitt’s called 911, indicating DeWitt might be suicidal. Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler said that incident was carefully orchestrated enough that investigators believed that the father and son already were dead by the time deputies arrived at the house.
On Halloween morning, deputies were called to the 3600 block of Duxbury Court in Jarrettsville after a family member found a husband and wife dead inside the home. Investigators announced a few days later that they believed Gregory Weller, 75, shot and killed his wife, Thelma Weller, 76, then turned the gun on himself.
Hopkins said the number of murder-suicide cases in such a short period of time was abnormal for Harford County, adding it would be impossible to speculate what might be the root cause of the recent trend.
In all three of the recent cases, law enforcement had not previously been involved with any of the families, “leaving no room for a deputy or our Domestic Violence Unit to have offered services” before the incidents, Hopkins said.
Resources are available for the community for anyone suffering from a mental health or domestic violence issues, Hopkins said.
The Klein Family Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline, 1-800-NEXT-STEP, is available for anyone suffering from mental health issues. Anyone suffering from domestic or sexual abuse can reach out to the sheriff’s office, Harford County’s Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SARC), or the courts, she said.
If you or someone you know is suffering with a mental health issue or thoughts of suicide, call the The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center at 800-NEXT-STEP or 410-874-0711, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or the Maryland Crisis Hotline is 800-422-0009.