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Timmerman Road road sign. My Ferndale News file photo

Husband, wife dead after murder-suicide in Ferndale

FERNDALE, Wash. — Law enforcement were dispatched to a residence in the 6500 block of Timmerman Lane in Ferndale this morning, August 7th, after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a man reporting to be inside the residence who said law enforcement would find his and his wife’s bodies inside.

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo issued the following press release today explaining the incident.

At 0823 hours this morning deputies responded to the 6500 block of Timmerman Lane near Ferndale after a 77 year old man telephoned 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher: ““I am going to shoot myself”.  He indicated he had prepared a note for the Sheriff with information and instructions.  The dispatcher attempted to keep the caller on the line without success.  The man disconnected the call after saying “We will be in the front bedroom.”  Deputies arrived at approx. 0838 hours and set up a perimeter around the house.  A crisis negotiator attempted to contact occupants of the home via phone and loud hailer for about 1 hour.  After an hour, Deputies deployed a robot mounted camera.  The man was found deceased from an apparent gunshot wound.  He was lying next to his wife, age 76, who was also deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. 
Sheriff’s Office detectives and crime scene investigators are investigating the case as a likely murder/suicide.  Several notes were left citing severe ongoing medical problems with the wife and expressing concerns that the couple did not have sufficient resources to pay for medical care.  Next of kin information was left in a note and Detectives are working with out of state law enforcement to notify the next of kin.  Pending this notification, the identity of the decedents is not being released.
Two dogs found within the residence were taken into the custody and turned over to the Humane Society for care.  Numerous firearms were impounded for safekeeping. 
Sheriff Elfo said:  “It is very tragic that one of our senior citizens would find himself in such desperate circumstances where he felt murder and suicide were the only option. Help is always available with a call to 9-1-1.”

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  1. Sherrie L Schulteis Sherrie L Schulteis August 7, 2019

    This was our dear neighbor ….and all of us on Timmerman Lane are totally shocked as this man drove by everyday with his dog hanging out the car window. We talked often and knew his wife was very ill with alzheimer’s… we all wished he would have said something, because we could have helped him and put him in touch with people could help them…. please anyone in this situation, you can call to start looking for help .. I took my aged dad in and they put me in touch with so many things I had never heard of….
    Telephone: (360) 676-6749. Toll Free: (800) 585-6749 from Western WA only … 600 Lakeway Drive, Suite 100. Bellingham, WA 98225. Email: Aging & Disability …

  2. Christopher Most Christopher Most August 7, 2019

    Breaks my heart to hear about someone in our community felt so alone and helpless….maybe its time we all give our neighbors a hug

  3. flowerlady37 flowerlady37 August 7, 2019

    This truly is devastating! I sure wish I knew them and could have found a way to get them set up with helpful resources. Like Christopher said, maybe it’s good to hug our neighbors and ask them if they’re okay. Especially the elderly.

  4. Sherrie L Schulteis Sherrie L Schulteis August 8, 2019

    Must leave another comment, (see top note) these were our neighbors and we talked and waved to them all the time,,, the man had game cameras about and so do I, so we talked about what we found on our cameras. He never seemed depressed, nor did he speak of anything he was going through. He also would walk his dog often down our tiny dead end street. Many times people do not show what they are going through… but here is the horribleness of this whole thing, less than 6 months ago our across the street neighbor shot himself, a young man with PTSD, cops and swat all lined our street then too. He was young in his 50’s, and this guy and the whole block knew and saw him riding his bike, or walking his tiny dog also. He lived directly across from our house and we talked with him everyday as we were outside a lot. We had no idea his PTSD would kick in and he started believing everyone was someone else and he was going to kill everyone. The other veteran he lived with called the police and when the man saw the police approaching the house he shot himself. So, in 8 little houses on this road we have had this happen. I do go up and hug strangers after talking with them, I do everything I can, I love our human race, but sometimes we can’t do everything. We check on our neighbors, watch after their houses.. In myself I feel so guilty, could I have done more?
    …again I will repeat this, if anyone is having trouble or knows of someone in Western Washington. Below is a place to start, and they can help or lead you to help, all counties have this for helping the elderly…
    Telephone: (360) 676-6749. Toll Free: (800) 585-6749 from Western WA only … 600 Lakeway Drive, Suite 100. Bellingham, WA 98225. Email: Aging & Disability …

  5. Louis Erkorkut Louis Erkorkut August 10, 2019

    I arrived in U.S. on Sept. 1968 in the heat of the Vietnam war.

    At the time I thought the saddest thing was learning the deaths of my Akron U. ( no longer than few weeks old ) ROTC school buddies.

    During my 51 years of residence in this country, no matter how its been sugar coated, I have never understood the logic of denying the
    basic health care to -anyone in need- regardless of their physical, psychological, spiritual and/or financial standing.

    It is revolting to see our elected representatives and senators has no complaints about their health care while they are shocked, shocked
    to hear the same health care being denied to a destitute or someone committed suicide while they are accepting unbelievably generous
    contributions for their re-election campaigns from the same health care companies denying the care to these estranged people, whom
    they are our own brothers and sisters.

    I don’t think I could ever hear more saddest thing than this as long as I live.

    Louis Erkorkut

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