Apparent Murder-Suicide Leaves 16-Year-Old Girl Dead

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP -- “We just can’t come to grips with it. It’s just so tragic.”

Harold and May Dover stood in their living room in shock.

The quiet Pocono Farms community near Tobyhanna has been rocked by an apparent murder-suicide.

Investigators tell Newswatch 16 Freddie Simmons, 63, shot and killed a 16-year-old girl inside a home.

Neighbors say the teen was Simmons' niece.

Neighbors tell Newswatch 16 that this is a very quiet community, and they were stunned to learn something like this could happen just doors from their house.

“Then all of a sudden, bam. It’s thrown me for a loop. It's crazy. We are trying to pinch ourselves. Is this real? Did this really happen?” said Harold Dover.

The Dovers were home when they got the call from Freddie Simmons' wife saying something was wrong.

“We were getting ready to go over there, but by that time the cops were there, so they wouldn’t let us go, and that’s when we tried to figure out what happened, and they didn’t tell us anything until later,” said May Dover.

When Pocono Mountain Regional Police arrived, they found the teen. She was shot multiple times. Simmons was also found with a single gunshot wound to the head.

According to police, Simmons wrote a suicide note saying he was taking the girl with him.

“I don’t know what caused it. There has to be some kind of problems there that he didn’t convey to us, and we were close. I figured he would at least talk to Harold,” said Dover.

Autopsies are scheduled for Monday.

The Monroe County coroner tells Newswatch 16 he won't release the name of the teen until the girl's school can inform students.

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38 comments

  • Lordmerk

    Bless this child. Autopsies are not a waste of time. You never know why s person reacted in such way. Maybe the shooter took medication that altered rational thinking. The family has the right to know these things
    It can prevent future cases. People are so insensitive until it is their blood spilled. I hope none of you go through such a tragic ordeal

    • Joe Smith

      “You never know why s person reacted in such way. Maybe the shooter took medication that altered rational thinking. The family has the right to know these things It can prevent future cases.”
      That’s pure nonsense. No autopsy will reveal anything like that. They’ll write a report and file it away forever. It’s irrelevant and pointless.

      “People are so insensitive until it is their blood spilled. I hope none of you go through such a tragic ordeal”
      LOL! Insensitive? More nonsense from you. The best way to respect the living and the dead is to let the dead rest in peace and stop robbing the property tax payers.

      • Lordmerk

        If that extra nickel you pay this year in taxes for autopsies is the merit of your argument then yes, insensitive is too polite of a term to describe you . Bless you.

      • Joe Smith

        An autopsy is a horrific mutilation of a person’s body. Many people do not want their loved ones’ bodies unnecessarily mutilated. Who are you to impose your will on anyone else? And a “nickel”? Add up the costs of all the unnecessary autopsies conducted by corrupt and/or incompetent coroners in PA and you’ll see it adds up to a lot of money. A “nickel” here and a “nickel” there, and pretty soon there are over 10,000 homes up for tax sale. Insensitive is a term too polite to describe you. Bless you.

    • Joe Smith

      Autopsies aren’t supposed to be done to sate somebody’s morbid curiosity; rather, they’re supposed to be done when there is a compelling public interest. If the cause and manner of death are obvious, and the coroner orders autopsies anyway, he is abusing his discretion.

      • Pahomegrown

        There not done for the public moron, they are done to see if drugs were in the persons system which may have caused the person to do the crime.. you are an idiot!

      • Joe Smith

        You don’t know what you’re talking about, but you’re going to start calling me names? All government officers – when they exercise their discretion in the course of their official duties – are supposed to be acting in the “public interest”.

      • Sad

        There are many, many clues to be found in and on both during an autopsy. They aren’t just going to look for residue to make sure he pulled the trigger!

      • Joe Smith

        You’re missing the point completely, aren’t you? There are “many, many clues” about what, exactly? The victim is dead of gunshot wounds. The killer is dead of gunshot wounds. As far as “the public” is concerned, it doesn’t matter why the killer did it. He’s dead. There is nobody to prosecute. Period. The end. Case closed. How is it in the “public interest” of the people of Monroe County to spend probably $5000 of property taxpayers’ money to dissect the bodies? How are the people of Monroe County better off because of Bobby Allen’s costly, arbitrary autopsies?

      • Joe Smith

        “There are many, many clues to be found in and on both during an autopsy. They aren’t just going to look for residue to make sure he pulled the trigger!”
        By your “reasoning” why should the rigorous post factum investigation be limited to an autopsy of the killer and victim? Shouldn’t a bunch of detectives be assigned to the case? Shouldn’t we be willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money to thoroughly investigate these people, e.g., by conducting interviews with friends and neighbors, examining medical histories, financial records, social media, etc. Where do we stop?

      • Joe Smith

        I think not. But let’s say for the sake of argument that there’s some question about which person was the shooter. So what? There’s nobody to prosecute. And you don’t need a full invasive autopsy to determine which person was the shooter anyway. These autopsies are completely unnecessary and pointless, as usual.

      • Joe Smith

        What does “insurance” have to do with it? The point is that the cause and manner of death of both people are obvious, insurance or no insurance, and there’s nobody to prosecute. Case closed. How is there a compelling state interest to spend $5,000.00 of property taxpayers’ money for autopsies?

    • ME Quincy

      This is right from the PA Statutes as it pertains to deaths and the duties of coroners:
      (3) deaths occurring as a result of violence or trauma, whether apparently homicidal, suicidal or accidental (including, but not limited to, those due to mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical or radiational injury, drowning, cave-ins and subsidences);

      • Joe Smith

        Sorry but there is no statutory requirement to perform autopsies in this case. These autopsies are completely unnecessary and pointless.

      • Joe Smith

        Dear Quincy, the question is: “Is there a statutory requirement for autopsies in this case”, and the answer is: No there is not; your irrelevant quote, taken out of context, notwithstanding. Whether or not autopsies are required in any particular case is a matter left to the discretion of the coroner. Your quote apparently has to do with the coroner’s statutory duty to INVESTIGATE certain types of deaths; whether or not autopsies are performed in the course of such investigations is another matter; clear enough?

    • Check History

      Family members can demand an autopsy, and there should be medical examination performed on both of these people.

      This is typical behavior of someone who has harmed another person, and intends that their secret goes no further.

      RIP to the young victim in this, and may the family, friends, and loved ones find solace and courage in the days to come. Please, do everything that needs to be done and remain off of all social media for a very, very long time.

      • Joe Smith

        What you’re saying makes no sense. An autopsy should be performed only when there is some reason. When the cause and manner of death are obvious, then there is no reason. Otherwise, what do you need a coroner for in the first place? He is supposed to consider all the circumstances and apply some reasoning. If you look at coroners cases in other counties, e.g., Northumberland, you’ll see exactly what I mean. Bobby Allen is an example of a coroner abusing his discretion.