PLATTSBURGH — City Police say Wayne C. Cashman killed his wife, Ann Marie, then fatally shot himself.
The investigation of the murder-suicide was launched after a 5:10 a.m. 911 call from Press-Republican paper carrier Glen Thompson, who had found a note attached to a broomstick outside the home at 79 Maryland Road.
Thompson said that when he approached the house to drop off the paper, the broomstick was resting against the door.
The note taped to it said “murder call 911,” he said.
On the bottom of the note was the word “suicide,” but it was hard to read, at first, Thompson said.
“It was written a lot smaller than the rest of it and looked like it was written in a hurry,” he said.
Thompson, 56, went back to his truck and called 911.
“I was so nerved up. I’ve never been involved in something like this before,” he said.
Police arrived shortly after and began to check out the house.
“They were being very cautious because who knew was was going on,” Thompson said.
FOUND NEAR WATERFRONT
Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racicot said officers found Mrs. Cashman, 61, in bed, dead of apparent gunshot wounds.
“While searching the residence, they found a note inside saying that Mr. Cashman was responsible for her death and was going to the waterfront to take his own life,” the chief said.
The note sent police to the city marina parking lot on lower Dock Street, near the former Clare & Carl’s restaurant, a drive of about 2 miles.
They found Mr. Cashman, 63, dead on the ground there by his white pickup truck.
City Police had responded to the location using armored vehicles that had been given to the department by the military.
“It was perfect for this situation,” Racicot told the Press-Republican, because police didn’t know at the time if Mr. Cashman was alive and armed.
“There was no way to safely approach the vehicle.”
Racicot believes the murder-suicide occurred sometime early Monday morning.
As far as a motive, the chief said, “we are in the process of trying to figure that out.”
Investigation continued at the Dock Street site throughout the day. Even the snow around the spot was being sifted for possible evidence, Racicot said.
An autopsy was scheduled for today, though results had not yet been released.
TRUCK WAS GONE
Police tape surrounded the Cashmans’ white house on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, with police presence outside through the day.
An autopsy was scheduled for Mr. Cashman on Monday, but results were not made available by end of day.
Thompson said that, as he arrived to deliver the paper, he noticed that Mr. Cashman’s white truck was missing from the driveway, which was unusual. And so he told police about it.
“It snowed a little, and you could see where the truck was and that it had left recently,” he said.
Thompson has been delivering newspapers to the Cashmans for about a year. They are one of about 120 homes on his route.
He usually arrived at their home around 5 a.m. every day.
“I’m thinking it was kind of set up for me to find,” he said of the broomstick with the note on it.
The home the Cashmans lived in was a duplex converted to a single unit, Thompson said, and he was not sure which door to drop the paper off when he took over the route.
Mr. Cashman had told him in a brief encounter that it would be fine to drop it off at the door on the right-hand side of the house.
“If he had left that note on the left-side door, I never would have seen it,” Thompson said.
“He knew I was coming.”
Thompson’s mind was racing when he made the call to 911.
“I was thinking that there were two dead bodies in that house,” he said.
“I don’t even remember everything I said on the phone.”
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.