Pennsylvania family made ‘joint decision’ to commit murder-suicide
A devout Christian family of three were found shot dead in their Pennsylvania backyard last week on a rotating basis as part of a murder-suicide pact struck months earlier, police said Friday.
Morgan Daub, 26, and her parents, James Daub, 62, and Deborah Daub, 59, left detailed notes explaining that they made the “joint decision” to end their lives together on January 24 after that Morgan told her parents that she wanted to kill herself. , the West Manchester Township Police Department said in a statement.
Police discovered the bodies of the trio at their York home on the morning of January 25 as they responded to a welfare check. A neighbor told police he heard three shots ring out in quick succession just before midnight.
The family left several written documents detailing their trip dating back at least nine months, cops said.
According to articles written by Deborah, she and Morgan originally planned to kill themselves together and leave James behind. In an April 2022 note, she writes that Morgan chose his execution date based on a Bible verse in which two parents surrender their child to God.
“Samuel 1:24-28 Morgan has chosen the date! I think I have to be with her! Deborah wrote.
Deborah also wrote about the “evil” Morgan and family faces, but police said she did not go into detail.
“The rest of the letter appears to be directed to or about God and her husband, James Daub. The letter reads as if she expected James to survive them after their deaths,” police said.
According to a letter left by James, he was not initially part of the pact but chose to join after hearing that his wife and daughter were planning to leave.
“[H]We were devastated when Morgan ‘us’ said she had to end her life,” police said of her letter.
“In the early parts of the letter James says he is not ready to end his life, but by the end of the letter it is evident that he had then decided to do so.”
The family left additional notes admitting they died for each other.
“With only 2 guns and me shaking, my wife Debbie pulled the trigger for me,” James wrote.
“I was too shaky so my daughter pulled the trigger for me,” Deborah wrote.
Morgan, who was found wearing earmuffs, did not leave a note, but police determined she had taken her own life.
Their bodies were found with gunshot wounds to the head and were “laid out in a straight line beginning a few yards from the porch and extending south.”
Police recovered a lengthy checklist Morgan made that contained preparatory steps before ending his life, including talking to his father, trimming the dog’s nails, letters to family, and more. They also left instructions for their living family, including instructions for the care of their dog.
The murder-suicide shook the community, which knew the family as quiet but devout Christians.
Neighbors described Morgan as a reserved girl who enjoyed bowling with her mother.
The Daubs were “never shy about letting anyone know what their beliefs were” when it came to religion and politics, Bret Stabley, who operates Bowlers Supply’s pro shop in the city, told NBC News.
Another neighbor considered their beliefs a “concern.”
New York Post