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Deaths on farm in Northern Ireland believed to be murder-suicide

Sept. 17, 2013 at 1:51 AM   |   Comments

GLENARM, Northern Ireland, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A worker on an isolated farm in Northern Ireland apparently killed the farm's owner before committing suicide, police said Monday.

Investigators believe Michael Murphy, 37, shot Arthur Gibson, 61, in an outbuilding on the farm near Glenarm in County Antrim and then killed himself, the Irish Independent reported. Murphy had worked for Gibson for 15 years and had taken Gibson to the hospital when the farmer had a heart attack a few years ago.

Another employee found the bodies in the kitchen of the farmhouse late Friday afternoon. The Belfast Telegraph reported police found a weapon with the bodies.

"It just beggars belief that this could have happened," John McAuley, who owns a nearby farm, told the Independent. "My daughter said that Michael Murphy called into our shop just around lunchtime and seemed to be his normal self."

Murphy had four children and his partner is pregnant, the Independent said. But he also reportedly had a history of depression severe enough to require hospitalization and of drug use.

Police said the farm was burgled late Sunday afternoon or overnight, apparently by someone who expected the place to be empty. Gibson was unmarried and lived alone on the farm, which neighbors said had been in his family for generations.

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