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Couple dies in murder-suicide

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- A Doublegate man killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself at their vacation home in Fort Gaines Wednesday, Clay County Sheriff Roger Shivers said.

Ronald Cox, 65, shot and killed his wife, Bobbie, 68, at about 11:30 a.m. in the murder-suicide on Pataula Circle in a neighborhood of retirees and manufactured homes, Shivers said.

Cox then sat with his wife's body until about 6 p.m. when he heard neighbors return to their home. He then shot himself, Shivers added.

"He left his neighbors a note inside their house saying what he was fixing to do," Shivers said. "I believe it was financial problems led him to it. It was all carefully planned."

The note was left with Mack and Gail Walters, who declined Thursday to talk about the deaths.

The killings are under investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as well as Sheriff Shivers office, said Mike Lewis, special agent in charge.

Lewis said he also believed Cox's actions were motivated by depression and financial woes. Cox was believed to be an insurance broker.

"They were just the best people to be around," said neighbor Eugene Hawkins, 77. "They were really good people. They never let on if they had any problems."

Other neighbors who did not want their names used remembered the Coxes as friendly and smiling as they walked their dog in the neighborhood.

To look at the Cox home on the 2000 block of Ashford Drive, one wouldn't think financial problems beset the family. It is a gray, single story Cape Cod style home with 3-foot-tall potted ferns on the full porch. An American flag flies from the railing. Sitting across the street from the Cox home on lawn mowers were Robert Bailey and Willie Poole, employees of the Porter Lawn Service, said they had worked on the Cox home's yard for about 20 years.

"It was a shock to hear about them," Bailey said. "They were just the nicest people to work for. We were supposed to finish trimming the hedges."

The white mailbox in front of the Cox home had a purple-ribbon bow placed on its top at about 2 p.m. Thursday without a card.