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.