Still No Explanation on What Led to Murder-Suicide in the Poconos

COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP -- There is still no explanation as to what led a man to take the life of 16-year-old girl before killing himself in Monroe County.

Police say Freddie Simmons, 63, shot the girl, believed to be his niece, multiple times Friday night before shooting himself.

“It's quite sad. I just moved on the block, nice and quiet and never would have expected something like this,” said neighbor Christian Battle.

People living in a quiet cul-de-sac in the Pocono Farms Community are still wondering what would lead to a murder-suicide Friday night.

“I actually just bought the house three weeks ago. I just moved in. I came in from New York City,” said Battle. “So I tried to escape the murders and all that stuff. I thought by coming out to the country but no, I didn't know them at all. I didn't hear a gunshot. I didn't hear anything.”

Pocono Mountain Regional Police say Simmons shot a 16-year-old girl, who neighbors say was his niece, multiple times before shooting himself once in the head, killing them both.

Police say it happened while other family members were in the house and that Simmons left a suicide note saying he was taking the girl with him.

Days after the murder-suicide, the house sat empty.

Neighbor Harold Dover knows the family and is waiting for them to check in.

“She's going to be calling to let us know what's going on, but nobody called yet,” said Dover. “(Simmon’s wife) is not in town. She's not here now. I don't know where she's at,” said Dover.

Police are not releasing the girl's name since she's a juvenile. The Pocono Mountain School District says the girl was a cyber student there.

On Monday, the superintendent issued a statement saying: “We pray for this child, the members of her family, her classmates and teachers at Agora Cyber Charter School and our entire community as everyone tries to deal with this tragic loss.”

Neighbors say you never know what goes on inside a home.

“Things happen. Things happen. They seemed pretty OK. They seemed pretty cool. I don't know,” said Merrick Chin.

“16-year-old girl, that's the worst, you know?” said Battle.

The Monroe County coroner said an autopsy on the girl showed she died from a gunshot wound. Pocono Mountain Regional Police say the investigation continues.

8 comments

  • Joe Smith

    Why did the Monroe county coroner do an autopsy when the cause of death was obvious beforehand? Why did he not let the dead rest in peace and avoid squandering property taxpayers’ money?
    Apparently these unnecessary autopsies are some kind of a bizarre, barbaric statist ritual; an assertion of arbitrary state power, whereby the helpless victims are unnecessarily mutilated and the helpless property taxpayers are forced to pay for it.

    • LL

      If you are any kind of familiar with how that goes EVERYONE that is murdered is autopsied. They could have been strangled before being shot, or dead before put on fire, killed before they were put in a lake it’s not that they drowned it’s that they were put there AFTER death. In order for there to be an accurate death certificate in a murder case there needs to be proof in writing.

      • Joe Smith

        And if you were at all familiar with the subject matter, which you obviously aren’t, you would understand that murder victims are generally autopsied to establish a “legal” cause of death, in anticipation of prosecuting someone for the crime. But in a clear cut, open-and-shut case of murder-suicide, such as the instant case, an autopsy is completely unnecessary and pointless. If you don’t believe me please use google to look up some similar cases that happened in other counties (where the coroner is not so corrupt/incompetent/ghoulish).
        I’ll even give you a search phrase to help you out; google: “Autopsy on Homicide Victim Canceled after Suspect Found Dead in Jail”
        I hope that clears things up for you.

    • Sherry Zbar

      Very greatly simplified, Pennsylvania law requires the performance of an autopsy in the event of any death that occurs to any person not under a physician’s care and always includes cases of death by homicide, suicide or accident.

      • Joe Smith

        I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Sherry, but you’re wrong. Please google the phrase: Autopsy on Homicide Victim Canceled after Suspect Found Dead in Jail”

      • Sherry Zbar

        [THERE IS NO “REPLY” OPTION UNDER YOUR LAST COMMENT, JOE SMITH]
        Well, Joe Smith, there is no need to apologize for being the “bearer of bad news” as I have no personal investment in this issue, however, in Fortune Magazine’s well known report of the study of the ten most corrupt governments in the United States, Pennsylvania has ranked within the top five with New York and New Jersey never once even making the list. I can just tell you the Commonwealth’s Statute regarding the obligation as to the mandatory medical-legal autopsy. That it i has at times not been performed in Pennsylvania…. Gee, should I be surprised?

        One caveat, however, that I wonder may perhaps provide a legal loophole (?), is that prisoners are under the care of a jail physician.

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