Fairfield Twp. couple’s death officially ruled murder-suicide

Fairfield Twp. couple’s death officially ruled murder-suicide

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The home on Brooke Meadows Court in Fairfield Twp. where a murder-suicide happened last week. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

The death of a Fairfield Twp. couple has officially been ruled a murder-suicide by area coroner’s offices.

Today, the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office ruled the death of 53-year-old James Welber a suicide. He had a gunshot wound to the head.

Last week, Rebecca Welber’s death was ruled a homicide by the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

The Welbers, who were going through a divorce, were found suffering from gunshot wounds on July 8 in their home on Brooke Meadows Court.

At about 11:58 a.m., Fairfield officers were dispatched to 5805 Brooke Meadows Court for a welfare check after the male homeowner had not been to work for a couple days.

Officers gained entry into the home where they located both homeowners.

James Welber had what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, according to police. Rebecca Welber, 52,had multiple gunshot wounds and was dead at the scene.

James Welber was transported by medical helicopter to University of Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center where he later died.

The police report indicates a Luger and Glock handguns with ammunition were found in the house. Three bullet casings were found in the bedroom, and a bullet was located in the hallway wall.

Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Doug Lanier said James Welber worked for Hamilton County Water and Sewer. Co-workers called police concerned after he had not been to work. According to the police report, Rebecca Welber was a FedEx employee.

Investigators believe Rebecca Welber’s shooting may have occurred on July 5 and James’ shortly after.

“I would say she had been dead a couple days,” Lanier said.

Lanier said the couple was found in same bedroom of the house.

James Welber filed for divorce on March 24, according to Butler County court records. County Domestic Relations Judge Barbara Carter-Schneider signed a standard restraining order to both parties pertaining to finances, use of vehicles and insurance.

Hamilton Attorney Richard Hyde, who represented Rebecca, said the violent incident “came out of left field for me”

“We met on (July 3) and were working toward an agreement,” Hyde said. “They were very cordial to each other. There was never any indication of violence or even that there were guns in the house.”

He said Rebecca did not want the divorce and cared for James.

“She was a very nice lady and cared a lot for him,” Hyde said. “So sad, really terrible.”

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