Thursday, November 13, 2008

Economic stress blamed for murder/suicide...

Amanda Hernandez, Reporter
NLV Murder/Suicide a Result of Economic Stress

Updated: Nov 13, 2008 07:12 AM

Eyewitness News has learned that a couple found dead in the desert on Monday had lost their home in foreclosure.

North Las Vegas Police found the pair near Losee Road and I-215. At the time, police wouldn't say how they died. But the deaths have now been confirmed as a murder/suicide, triggered by a lost job and home foreclosure.

Pushed past the point of desperation, Jeff Lingle spent the day after his 38th birthday in the desert with the woman he loved.

A family friend says the two were common law married and had fallen on hard times. Lingle had lost his job, eventually forcing the couple to join the thousands of others who lost their home to foreclosure.

They moved in with a neighbor, but things never improved and so Jeff wrote a note saying, "We couldn't do this anymore and we swore we would die together."

He then included a map of where they could be found.

It's the ultimate cost of the faltering economy and psychologists warn when both members of a couple are drawn down by a situation, it's hard to feel like there is a way out.

"The worst thing that can happen is for two people to get into a cycle of hopelessness, where they start to reinforce each others depression and drag themselves down," said Psychologist Dr. David Gosse. "If that downward spiral goes down too far, then it can eventually lead to hopelessness and suicidal thoughts and in some cases actual suicide."

Dr. Gosse works with people dealing with depression, some of it brought on by the recent economy. He warns that when things feel hopeless is when you need to reach out the most, "When people are going through stressful life events, one of the best things they can do to shield themselves from the stress is to reach out. Unfortunately, a lot of times when people are under stress they tend to withdraw and that is one of the worse things they can do."

He recommends that when people begin to feel hopeless they reach out to family and friends, especially if their partner is also struggling. Because sometimes hope can be found with a little help.


The Clark County Coroner has identifed the second body found in the desert area of North Las Vegas on Monday.

The woman, 44-year-old Teresa Graciela Mullis, was found alongside 38-year-old Jeffrey Lingle. Police say the deaths were the result of a murder suicide.

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