Elderly man fatally beat, choked wife before taking pills, autopsies find

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Elderly couple found dead in La Mesa home.

LA MESA, Calif. — Recently released autopsy results showed a 77-year-old La Mesa man fatally beat and asphyxiated his 73-year-old wife at their home near Lake Murray before ingesting an overdose of prescription medication days later.

La Mesa police said on Thursday no criminal charges were pending in connection with the deaths of William and Rose Welch, whose bodies were found last week at home they shared in the 6900 block of Wyoming Avenue near Connecticut Avenue.

“Based on the autopsy it appears that Mrs. Welch sustained multiple blunt force trauma injuries to her head and was asphyxiated,” La Mesa police Lt. Brian Stoney said in a statement. “Several days later Mr. Welch committed suicide by apparently overdosing on prescription medications.”

Officers checking on the couple’s welfare found their bodies on the morning of Oct. 14. Police said at the time they considered their deaths suspicious because of traumatic injuries on one of the victims. The deaths were later ruled a murder-suicide.

The Welch’s adult daughter and her boyfriend “were aware of the circumstances” and eventually reported their deaths, Stoney said. Police and the county District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation, which did not result in criminal charges, he said.


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