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Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

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STOWE, Vt. -

Police in Stowe say two people are dead in an apparent murder-suicide. Wayne Washburn, 64, and his wife, Katherine, 59, were found dead in their home Wednesday. Police believe Wayne murdered Katherine and then committed suicide. Katherine had severe head injuries, but her cause of death has not yet been determined. Police say the evidence suggests Wayne may have died from an overdose of prescription medication in conjunction with deliberate carbon-monoxide poisoning. Investigators say they are still awaiting results from the medical examiner.

The last time Lois Kiefer talked with her neighbors Kathy and Wayne Washburn—who she knew as John—is written clearly on a whiteboard on her kitchen wall.

"We picked up furniture on Saturday night and when we got back to the house, the husband, John, helped us move furniture into the garage," Kiefer said. "Everyone was chatting and everything seemed normal."

But that sense of normalcy quickly turned tragic late Wednesday afternoon at 262 Cady Hill Road in Stowe.

"We could see all the lights going on and all the people milling around and that's what give us an indication that something was going on," Kiefer said.

Kiefer feared John had a medical emergency, but as the state police crime unit showed up and stayed late into the night, she realized things were much more grim.

"I thought, at first, maybe John had had a health issue," she said. "And then when I saw that the police stayed around for so long, I realized it had to be more than that and it got really scary."

"Personal challenges are most often hidden and in many cases not really understood or appreciated by other persons," said neighbor Ken Strong.

Kiefer says she saw the couple enjoying time on their front porch as late as Sunday and that she never noticed any signs of trouble with the pair.

"She was a potter," Kiefer said. "She did ceramics in her basement. She had a great business going that was really blossoming this year."

A business, two lives and a friendship that for Lois Kiefer are gone too soon.

"As a friend I am still having trouble dealing with it," she said. "I had trouble getting to sleep last night."

Related Story:

Police investigate two dead bodies found in Stowe

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