Whitman County authorities say financial woes may have prompted murder-suicide

August 10, 2017 GMT

Whitman County authorities now say money, not mercy, appears to have motivated a woman to kill her husband before turning the gun on herself.

Janice K. Moore, 63, called 911 on Tuesday morning to report she had just shot her husband, Dennis L. Moore, 66, at their home in Hay, a small town about 30 miles west of Pullman. Both were dead when paramedics and sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Janice Moore told a dispatcher she believed her husband had cancer and suggested she wanted to end his suffering, but a review of Dennis Moore’s health records turned up no evidence of such a diagnosis, authorities said.

In a statement Wednesday, Whitman County Coroner Pete Martin said “it was confirmed that Mr. Moore had no known life-threatening health conditions at the time of his death.”

Martin added that the Moores had been facing “severe financial difficulties.”

Sheriff Brett Myers said Thursday at least one of the couple’s properties was nearing foreclosure. He said they lived alone and had been married about 30 years.

On Tuesday, both were found with a single gunshot wound to the head from a small-caliber pistol. Janice Moore’s wound appeared to be self-inflicted.

Neither of the Moores appears to have a criminal record in Washington. Whether money concerns led to their deaths is unclear, Myers said.

“We can put a puzzle together, but we don’t know if it’s right,” he said. “Family members are going to have to pick up the pieces and figure out what’s going on with the estate.”