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The Boston Globe

Metro

Weymouth couple in their 80s found dead inside home

WEYMOUTH — A relative arrived at the yellow home on Dunbar Road to check on the elderly couple who live there early Tuesday and found them dead in an apparent murder-suicide, authorities said.

Elizabeth A. Coyne, 81, and her husband, Donald P. Coyne, 83, suffered injuries “consistent with gunshot wounds,” Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office said in a statement.

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A .25 caliber Walther pistol that authorities said they believe Donald Coyne owned was found at his side when they were discovered about 7:12 a.m.

David Traub, Morrissey’s spokesman, declined to say how many times either person was shot or where.

He said officials were working to determine what may have touched off a violent altercation between the couple.

Donald Coyne’s license to own the pistol had expired several years ago, Traub said.

Prosecutors said the couple were “long-term residents” of the home, and Weymouth police reported no prior involvement with them.

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“There is no known history of domestic violence,” the statement said.

Police had cleared the scene on Dunbar Road, a small dirt road off of a main thoroughfare, by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Trash cans were placed in the front of the driveway of the couple’s modest, Cape-style home.

A Subaru Outback and a Honda Civic were parked in the driveway, and laundry was hanging on clothes lines in the backyard.

Most neighbors at the other four homes located on or just off the road either did not answer their doors or refused to comment.

Traub did not answer directly when asked if either Donald or Elizabeth Coyne had a history of dementia or other medical issues.

“At this point, we don’t see anything that is linked to the events of the day,” Traub said.

He added that the Coynes had two adult children, but he declined to say where they live.

Family members could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.

One neighbor, who did not give her name, said it was the couple’s son who discovered the bodies, an account that Traub would not confirm.

Weymouth police referred questions to Morrissey’s office, which is leading the investigation.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner removed the bodies from the home on Tuesday afternoon, and autopsies are not expected to be conducted before Wednesday, prosecutors said.

This would be the state’s second murder-suicide in 2014, said Toni K. Troop, director of communications at Jane Doe, Inc., a statewide sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy organization. There have been a total of five domestic-violence-related deaths this year, she said.

Troop said there is often a generational divide in awareness and willingness to speak out about domestic violence, with older generations less likely to come forward.

But, she said, “there’s a higher incidence of fatalities when it comes to perpetrators who are older.”

John R. Ellement of the Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent Todd Feathers contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.

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