Police say Essex deaths were murder suicide

ESSEX — Police released the identities of the couple found dead Tuesday and say it was a murder suicide.


“Personnel from Troop F responded to Prospect Street, Essex for a well-being check,” says Sargent Eric Haglund of Connecticut State Police. “Upon entering the residence troopers located two deceased individuals inside of that property.”

The Office of the Chief State’s Medical Examiner determined Susan Barron. 73, died from a gunshot wound and Joseph Reifer, 73, died of a self inflicted gunshot wound.

The First Selectman stopped by the scene on Tuesday to assure the public that this is an isolated incident, and there is no safety concern in the area. Neighbors say they are shocked nonetheless.

“Right now I’m just shaking because I never expected this on our little street, in our little town,” says Joan McCann, a nearby neighbor. “Never in my life did I ever think that something like that would have happened in this neighborhood.”

Others say they did not know the people who lived in this home.

“I’ve been here seven years, and I said hello to them maybe once or twice, and that’s it,” says Al Moncovich, another nearby neighbor. “They sort of kept to themselves.”

McCann agreed that the people who lived in the home appeared to be very private.

“I did not know the people at all,” says McCann. “They seemed to be – indoor – the shades were always drawn.”

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact Troop F.