PORTLAND, Ore. – A 91-year-old man despondent over his wife's need to move to a nursing facility shot her to death and then killed himself in Clackamas County.
The couple had been married for 62 years, and police say the man could not bear to be away from his wife.
"This is an extraordinarily tragic event that culminated in a murder-suicide," said Detective Jim Strovink, spokesman for the Clackamas County sheriff's office.
Anthony Joseph Liberto, 91, and his wife, Beverly Lolita Liberto, 85, met on a dance floor in Portland 64 years ago. He drove a bread truck for Franz Bakery, and she worked in real estate. They were an active couple, continuing into retirement with their dancing and also playing golf.
But three years ago, Beverly Liberto was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. As her disease progressed, she needed more and more help with basic daily care.
Three months ago, police say, Anthony Liberto put her in a nursing facility. But he couldn't bear to be without her and returned within the day to take her back. Police say he simply picked her up and left.
"He really loved her and just couldn't survive without her," Strovink said.
The pressures of being a caretaker resumed, and her health deteriorated. He also had health problems. The family planned to put her in a nursing facility again this week.
When an outside caregiver left the Libertos on Monday afternoon, deputies said, Anthony Liberto was despondent over the prospect of his wife's upcoming departure.
Within a few hours, Liberto left a note explaining his actions, shot his wife, activated a medical alert system in the house and then shot himself.
Deputies did not say what the note said but said that it made the causes clear.
The couple is survived by three children and three grandchildren.