86-year-old kills wife in suspected murder-suicide
Investigators believe the deaths of an elderly married couple early last week were the result of a murder-suicide.
According to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the 400 block of Timber Drive on Nov. 7 at approximately 7:45 a.m. for a domestic disturbance report with a possible shooting. Officers found 86-year-old Harvey Rankin, who was reportedly suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.
Inside the residence, the Sheriff’s Office said 83-year-old Bonnie Rankin, Harvey’s wife, was found dead. Harvey was brought to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where, according to the Omaha World-Herald, he died from his injuries Tuesday, Nov. 16.
On Thursday, Sgt. Jim Doty of the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office told the Omaha World-Herald, “Our investigation has led us to believe that it was an apparent murder-suicide that occurred. Due to the suspect (Harvey Rankin) passing away, our case is now closed.”
According to KETV-TV, Sgt. Doty said Rankin shot his wife before shooting himself.
Authorities reportedly believe dementia played a role in Harvey’s actions. KETV reports that Sgt. Doty said, “When the family member called in to 911 to report this, they did say that he had dementia. He was being treated for dementia at the time.”
He added, “Going to the scene and seeing that it’s an elderly couple and hearing the reports of the dementia, it was heartbreaking, because you can’t believe that he was in his right mind to do something that horrific.”