Elderly doctor and wife found dead in Sykesville Friend finds bodies in couple's home


Howard County police are investigating the deaths of a Sykesville doctor and his wife, who were found dead in their master bedroom yesterday with plastic bags over their heads, police said.

They were identified as Dr. William J. Bryson and his wife, Charlotte, both 75, police said.

A preliminary investigation indicates the deaths were a double suicide, although investigators have not determined the cause of death, police said.

An autopsy is scheduled for today, ,said Sgt. Pete D'Antuono of the county Police Department's criminal investigations unit.

"Nothing appears to be suspicious," the sergeant said yesterday outside the couple's large brick home in the 600 block of Sideling Court. "Nothing appears to be missing."

A friend and family attorney who made daily visits to check on the Brysons discovered the couple about 12:30 p.m. yesterday upstairs in their bedroom, police said.

"The wife was on the bed, and he was on the floor," Sergeant D'Antuono said.

Sergeant D'Antuono said notes explaining the couple's intentions and instructions for family members were found at the scene. Police did not reveal the contents.

According to Sergeant D'Antuono, Dr. Bryson had been terminally ill with lung cancer.

Dr. Bryson retired several years ago from a private practice in Catonsville, said George J. Moniodis, a


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spokesman for St. Agnes Hospital. He said Dr. Bryson at one time had worked as an internist and a pulmonary medicine specialist at St. Agnes.

A spokeswoman for the University of Maryland Medical Center in

Baltimore said Dr. Bryson was a member of the School of Medicine's class of 1943.

Neighbors on the Brysons' quiet dead-end street near the Carroll County line described the doctor and his wife as quiet and friendly.

"I'm very sorry to hear that," said one neighbor. "They were very nice,

quiet neighbors."

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said, "We really didn't know them that well at all. There was an occasional wave on the street just to say, 'Hello.'

"A neighbor said she saw [Mrs. Bryson] getting her mail yesterday," the woman recalled.

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