A lesbian couple from Arizona have been found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
It is thought that 32-year-old Dallas Augustine – the daughter of a Nevada lawmaker who was murdered in 2006 – is thought to have shot her partner, 50-year-old Jessie McCaskill, before turning the gun on herself.
The bodies of the two women were found on Monday at their home in Phoenix, Arizona. The alleged murder weapon, a handgun, was found at the crime scene. The women will undergo autopsies tomorrow.
A neighbor told AZcentral.com that the two women, who had been together since 2004, “fought like cat and dog” behind closed doors, and that their rows could often be heard from outside their home.
Interviews with friends and family revealed there had been problems in the relationship.
A neighbour said the women were packing up the house because the lease was up and that both were moving out to be closer to their jobs.
Ms Augustine worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections in Florence, Southeast of Phoenix. Her mother, Kathy Augustine, who was a Nevada state controller, was murdered in her Reno home in 2006 by her husband, now serving a life sentence.
Ms Augustine’s uncle told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that his niece had suffered serious problems but refused to ask her family for any help: “I believe there’s been some substance abuse, and I think probably some mental health issues.
“Basically she cut off contact with our family. By choice.”
Crime analyst Chelsea Hoffman said: “Same-sex couples are not immune to the same relationship issues that affect everyone else. They face the same levels of tension, the same situations that drive wedges between each other, the same scenarios that ultimately lead to breakups – or worse.
“Dallas Augustine and Jessie McCaskill were obviously in love, for they didn’t desire being apart. Whatever led to this horrible tragedy may never be known.”