A Luzerne County community is still reeling after a murder/suicide involving an elderly couple.
Members of the close-knit Wilkes-Barre Township neighborhood said Chester and Mildred Welebob had been together for more than 60 years except for the last few years when Mildred was admitted into a nursing home.
Their neighbors said this is a love story, but with a tragic end.
It all started outside St. Luke’s Villa nursing home on Northampton Street in Wilkes-Barre. Police closed off part of the lot with crime tape late Friday night where they said Mildred Welebob was shot and killed.
Police were then led to an area behind the old Wilkes-Barre Township High School a few miles away. They found Chester Welebob’s body near the school’s athletic fields, only feet away from where the couple lived for more than 60 years.
The Wilkes-Barre Township neighborhood was quiet on Saturday morning. The couples’ long-time friends and neighbors were devastated after hearing what happened.
Neighbors said Mildred suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was admitted to St. Luke’s Villa nursing home a few years ago. The separation and the disease had taken a toll on her loving husband, Chester.
“A wonderful love story, a deep true love, and he just couldn’t live without her. It’s tragic,” said neighbor Candy Schiner-Tohme.
“For anyone with a spouse in a nursing home, it’s trying, and tribulations, and love. We were all close, and we’re going to miss them,” added neighbor Leo Kaskel.
Police haven’t said what may have led Chester Welebob to kill his wife and then take his own life, or if the couple left behind any information.
Those who knew the pair best said this kind of ending isn’t a true representation of what had been a strong, and loving marriage.
“We called him Uncle Chet, and he was a wonderful man, this is a story of true love with a tragic end,” added Schiner-Tohme.
Police said they did recover the weapon they believed was used, and they will continue to investigate.
In the meantime, members of community said they are rallying around the Welebob’s children and grandchildren.