TASMANIA Police suspect a husband with some history of mental illness has murdered his wife before killing himself at their Riverside home.
Police received a call about 5pm on Monday from the husband stating his wife was dead.
When officers arrived at the Orana Place residence they found them both dead.
``Between the call to us and our arrival that male has taken his own life,'' Launceston CIB Detective Inspector Scott Flude said.
Inspector Flude would not identify the weapon used in either killings but confirmed an unregistered firearm was found in the home.
The woman, a popular staff member at the Launceston General Hospital, is understood to have died from blunt force trauma.
A note was found at the scene but police would not divulge what it said.
Inspector Flude said the triple-0 call to police was protracted and the man ``certainly sounded distressed.''
He said there was no history of domestic violence between the couple.
Inspector Flude said he didn't believe there was any suicide pact between the couple.
``These are an elderly couple both 62 years of age, been married for a significant period of time, lived at that address for a significant period of time,'' he said.
``We'll look at everything but the murder-suicide aspect I don't think will change.''
Neighbours in the quiet one-way street were shocked to learn the fate of the reclusive couple, who devoted lots of time to their German shepherds.
``They were like their kids, they really got looked after,'' next-door neighbour Jamie Knott said yesterday.
Mr Knott said he believed the husband, a former ACL Bearings worker, had been quite ill for the past two months.
The couple's 16-year-old daughter had been killed in a car accident a long time ago and it seemed the man had never fully recovered, he said.
Next-door neighbour Stacey Guy said she would often see the husband working in his well maintained garden.
``I was really surprised, it's very odd when it happens right next door,'' she said.
Launceston detectives and forensic officers spent Monday night and yesterday morning investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths.
Relatives have been notified.
The Coroner's Office was notified and post mortems were being conducted on the bodies in Hobart yesterday.
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