MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The Manchester police believe the elderly couple whose bodies were found hanging at their Mandeville home yesterday committed suicide.
However, a close friend of 73-year-old Morris Richards and his wife Grace, 72, is convinced that they were murdered as they were not given to suicide.
Police report that the couple was found hanging at their Glenwood Close home, off Woodlawn Road in Mandeville about 8:30 am.
The police said that there was no evidence of foul play and that they found what appeared to be a suicide note at the scene.
The cops said that based on information unearthed during their investigation, the couple had "personal problems".
But Bradley Hamilton, a close friend of the couple, has dismissed the police report.
Hamilton said he heard that the couple was found in the clothes they were wearing on Saturday.
He theorised that the killer or killers either followed the couple home or lay in wait for them at their home.
He said, too, that they could have been forced to write the note to give the impression that they had committed suicide.
Yesterday, relatives, friends and employees of the Richards were in shock at their untimely death.
The proprietors of E-World Limited, a company that specialises in household chemicals and other items, The Richards were described as "humble", "hardworking" and "God-fearing".
Hamilton, whose wife got her first job with the Richards, said he was saddened and in disbelief.
He said that as far as he knew, they were doing well in business.
Rasho McLean, an employee at E-World for almost 10 years, said that it was "totally impossible" that his employers would kill themselves.
McLean and his co-workers said it felt odd that their employers were not present to open the business yesterday.
He said that Morris Richards was the kind of employer who would call if one of his workers was sick and even pick up medication on their behalf at the pharmacy.
Councillor McArthur Collins (PNP, New Green Division) said he knew Morris Richards from primary school and they had maintained a friendship throughout the years.
"If it was really murder it is a cruel act and a wake-up call to the people of Manchester," he said.
Collins lamented that the momentum in establishing neighbourhood watch groups after the brutal murder of Richard and Julia Lyn in 2006 has waned.
"I heard that dogs were barking for a long time (at the Richards' home) last night (Sunday night) and no one did anything. Regardless of the remote gate, tall wall, and expensive dogs, citizens need to revive neighbourhood watch groups. That will help with crime," he said.