BELLE VALLEY, Ohio – A man who told a sheriff's dispatcher he had money problems strangled his wife and 11-year-old son, then shot and killed himself, authorities said Wednesday.
Theodore Bayly, 39, called the dispatcher around 2 a.m., saying he had already killed his family and was going to take care of himself, Noble County Sheriff Landon Smith said.
Bayly told the dispatcher in a seven-minute call that he was having financial problems and "couldn't afford it anymore," Smith said. He told the dispatcher where to find the bodies and then hung up.
Authorities found Bayly's body on an embankment about 35 feet from the family's mobile home near Belle Valley, about 75 miles east of Columbus. He had a shotgun wound to the head, Smith said.
Bayly's wife, Janice Bayly, 40, was found inside the home, and their son, Colton, was in the back seat of a vehicle, Smith said.
The boy appeared to have been placed in the car after being killed, Smith said. A coroner determined the mother and son had been strangled, and Smith told the Columbus Dispatch that an electrical cord had been used.
He said he didn't have details about the family's financial situation.
Smith told the Zanesville Times Recorder that sheriff's deputies had never before been called to the home. "No 911 calls, no domestic violence calls," he said. "Nothing."
Neighbors Dale and Betty Hedge said Bayly had been a self-employed roofer.
"They were a nice young couple," Betty Hedge said. "We're in shock, just like everybody else."
Janice Bayly had worked as a programs services assistant at the Noble County Senior Citizens Center in Caldwell since 1996. The center recently reduced her hours because of general cutbacks, said Michelle Hollins, the center's senior program director.
Theodore Bayly occasionally came by center and was always respectful and polite, Hollins said.
"This is a shock to all of us," Hollins said. "I did not see this coming at all."
Authorities across the country have expressed concern in recent months that the nation's financial woes could turn violent, because suicides historically increase in times of economic hardship.
In Akron, a 90-year-old widow shot herself in the chest in October as authorities arrived to evict her. She survived the shooting.
Last month, a man fatally shot his wife, five young children and himself in their suburban Los Angeles home after the couple were fired from hospital jobs, police said.