Thursday, October 12, 2000

Couple found dead in pool

Police think man killed wife, self

By Joe Milicia
The Associated Press

        BEXLEY, Ohio — A husband and wife were found dead in their swimming pool Wednesday, leaving behind two brief notes asking relatives to take care of their five children, police said.

        The children, ages 3 to 10, were asleep in the family's two-story house in this Columbus suburb.

        Detective Bob Cull said investigators suspect that Billy D. Matthews, 42, hit Kelly Matthews, 41, in the head, held her under water and then drowned himself. He was found in the deep end of the pool with cinder blocks attached to his feet and legs.

        Detective Cull said the preliminary conclusions are based on the notes and on a mark that was on the side of Mrs. Matthews' head. She also had a bruise on her shoulder.

        Autopsies will be performed.

        Mr. Matthews had called his father-in-law, Larry Metz, about 3 a.m. Wednesday to ask that he come stay with the children while Mr. Matthews took his wife to the hospital, Detective Cull said. He told Mr. Metz she was vomiting.

        Detective Cull said Mr. Matthews worked nights as supervisor for the printing crew at the Columbus Dispatch and had come home early from work.

        When Mr. Metz arrived, he found a note on the kitchen floor.

        Detective Cull said the note read: “We, Bill and Kelly Matthews, leave our possessions and our children to Larry Metz. Please tell the kids our love is never ending.” The note was signed, “Bill Matthews.”

        A second note, signed “Kelly and Bill,” read: “We made too many mistakes and don't want to make any more. Please take care of our children.”

        Mr. Metz identified the handwriting on both notes as Billy Matthews'. Detective Cull said he does not think that Mrs. Matthews was involved in the writing of the notes. “Why would she do something like that?” he asked.

        Friends and family members said the couple was not having marital problems, but a neighbor told police the couple was considering counseling, Detective Cull said.

        The children were taken to Mr. Metz's house in Columbus.

        The Matthewses live in a middle-class section of a suburb known for its stately homes, including the governor's mansion.

        Ken Blair, who lives a few houses down the street, said he did not see anything unusual about the family.

        “I remember seeing them play catch with the children,” he said of the parents. “They didn't stand out any differently than anyone else.”


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