Elderly couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide at adult residential community in NJ

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Friday, August 12, 2022
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According to a source, an 84-year-old man appears to have stabbed his 83-year-old wife, then himself. Crystal Cranmore has more.

FAIRFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide at an adult residential community in New Jersey Friday morning that left a married couple in their 80s dead.

It happened at an apartment building at the Woodcrest at Fairfield complex on Greenbrook Road in Fairfield.

According to a source, an 84-year-old man appears to have stabbed his 83-year-old wife, then himself.

They were later identified as Frank Forte and Catherine Forte.

A live-in home health aide reportedly heard a noise in the kitchen and then saw the husband yelling before going into the wife's room.

She is said to have run to the neighbor, Rosanne Deniscia, banging on the door and screaming, 'He's trying to kill her.'"

Deniscia, who called 911, spoke out exclusively to Eyewitness News.

"I'm still in shock a state of shock," she said. "His wife had asked (the aide) to call the police, and I guess it was just such a shock and it happened so fast."

The wife was found with stab wounds to the torso, while the husband sustained self-inflicted stab wounds to his stomach.

They were transported to the hospital, where they were both pronounced deceased.

"I don't know," Deniscia said. "I've heard her husband wasn't really himself lately, but from other neighbors, but I didn't see that when I saw him. He was very nice."

A knife was recovered at the scene.

Neighbors said the victims had just moved in, looking to be closer to their daughters who helped take care of them.

"I believe they spend a lot of time with their daughters," Deniscia said. "Their daughters pick them up quite a bit and help them with shopping."

The husband apparently suffered from dementia, though it is unclear if that contributed to the commission of the alleged crime.

The Essex County Prosecutor's office is investigating.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text TALK to 741-741 or visit 988lifeline.org/ for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

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