WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb Police Investigating Two Deaths as Murder-Suicide

Nov 16, 2018

Police Chief Curt Barker said it appears Larry Ruthe, 80, shot his wife, Betty Ruthe, 79, in their home at 322 N. Edwards St. and then took his own life.

Barker said no note was left behind so investigators are still trying to figure out a motive for the shootings.

“The detectives will get back at it as soon as they can and talk to everyone around them and try to determine what caused this to occur.  But right now this is what we believe happened and this is the way we’re investigating it,” Barker said.

He said the gun used in the shootings was licensed to the family.

Barker said police were called to the home Thursday morning by a postal worker who was concerned about the amount of mail piling up outside the house. Barker said investigators believe the bodies had been there “a few days.”

Barker said both of the Ruthes were retired.  He said Larry Ruthe had worked in the city’s water department for a number of years while Betty Ruthe had worked at McDonough District Hospital. The chief said the couple was respected and kept tabs on what happened in their neighborhood.

“The last call we had (from them) he had observed some individuals that were getting into sheds in the neighborhood and he called us and helped coordinate so that we could capture those individuals and we did.  It was juveniles that were messing around in the neighborhood,” he said.