A grandfather is believed to have shot dead his wife of 71 years before shooting himself dead.
Harold Masten, 88, and Helen Masten, 89, of Kenton, Delaware, United States were found by a relative who had gone to check on them and deliver breakfast on October 19. Their bodies were found in the bedroom inside the locked house in the first block of Cooper Street.
The motivation for the murder-suicide hasn’t been determined but the couple had spoken to a reporter in August about how the elimination of a program that helped cover medication costs for low-income Delaware seniors had left them unable to cover Helen’s health bills. The Mastens told the reporter that they had hoped to buy a new heater for their house, but they wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Helen, a homemaker and the bookkeeper of Harold’s business, explained that her three prescription eye drops to treat glaucoma only cost her $25 in total on the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program. But after August she would be charged about $150 to cover the prescription and the Part D premium, about 25 percent of what she received each month through Social Security, which was $560. Harold, who was an auto mechanic who ran his own business, Masten’s Garage, said then that he was disappointed with the state General Assembly for making a decision that would change so much of their daily lives.
Louise Amick, one of the Masten’s five children, said she was not aware of what the circumstances were behind her parent’s death.
She said: “We don’t know. We’re hoping to get some sort of closure from the medical examiner’s report that there was something going on medically that we didn’t know about.”
Amick said the family continues grieving over the incident and did not want to say more.