A Bay County sheriff's deputy, conducting a welfare check at a Southport home Tuesday morning, made a grisly discovery.
Inside the house at 9219 Resota Beach Road were the bodies of a man and woman – both dead from gunshot wounds. Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened but they suspect it's a murder-suicide.
According to the Bay County Sheriff's Office, the deceased are Mack O. Kilpatrick, 61, and Kelley Anna Dickson, 48. Once married, they divorced in 2010 but lived in the house together.
"They have been having a little bit of trouble since they split up… but I thought they had gotten back together and everything was alright," said Phillip Bass, a neighbor who knew the couple for 11 years.
Major Tommy Ford said a friend of the couple asked the sheriff's office to send a deputy to check the house after Mack failed to show up for work the night before. Ford said the house was not secure so the deputy went inside and found the bodies, along with a handgun.
Major Ford would not say how long the couple had been dead, how many shots were fired or who did the shooting. "We're still trying to determine that and I don't want to release any information preliminarily until we're able to get a clearer picture of exactly what happened," he said.
Bass said he talked to Kilpatrick on the phone three days ago. "I saw them down here day before yesterday on the side of the road... looked like they was arguing a little bit," said Bass.
Ford said the couple had no law enforcement history of domestic violence but confirmed investigators had learned they had argued in the past. "The evidence was at least consistent with what we would see with a murder suicide," said Ford.
Just before the medical examiner removed the bodies, Kilpatrick's sister arrived at the scene and broke into tears as a deputy told her what happened. Nearby, Phillip Bass was just coming to grips with the deaths of his neighbors. "They were wonderful people, I mean real good people," he said. "They were real close friends… I never would have thought this."
Major Ford said the investigation is continuing and autopsy results will give a clearer picture of exactly what happened on Resota Beach Road.