School Closings & Delays

Two Dead in Murder-Suicide

A woman’s death in Northumberland County has been ruled a homicide, according to the coroner.,

Police said JoAnn Mitchell, 69, was shot in the chest in her home near Watsontown by her boyfriend, 85-year-old Earl Beck. Investigators said after killing Mitchell, Beck then shot and killed himself.

Their bodies were found Tuesday evening.

Melinda LeBarron lives in a development near Watsontown, across the street from  Earl Beck and Joann Mitchell.

“Didn’t really see a lot going on with them. A few family members would come visit them, but they pretty much stayed to themselves,” LeBarron said.

The couple who neighbors said kept to themselves is now dead. Authorities said Beck shot Mitchell in the chest, then shot himself at their home on Shreck Road in Delaware Township.

“That’s concerning. It makes you wonder are you safe here or not,” said Carol Newcomer.

Neighbors said they saw furniture being moved out of the house over the weekend. They said they also saw the couple arguing.

“People were moving her stuff out. She wanted to live in an apartment by herself,” said LeBarron.

People who live in an apartment complex in Watsontown said Mitchell moved there earlier this month. The couple’s former neighbors on Shreck Road said they are shocked by what happened.

“I’ve been here 18 and a half years and it’s been the same. The man mows the grass every weekend, he’s quiet. The woman takes a walk down the road every once in a while,” Newcomer added.

“I’m still not getting over it because I’m not seeing him out getting the mail today. It’s just too much,” LeBarron said.

Neighbors said Mitchell and Beck had been together for 30 years but were not married.  They added the couple had been fighting recently and Mitchell wanted to move out of the house.

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