HILTON HEAD

Few details released in suspected murder-attempted suicide on Hilton Head

astice@islandpacket.comJune 26, 2012 

The front entrance of the Seabrook retirement community on Hilton Head Island, where a 90-year-old man is suspected of murdering his 84-year-old wife at their home Sunday night.

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Citing an ongoing investigation, Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner released few new details Tuesday about a suspected murder-attempted suicide Sunday at a Hilton Head Island retirement home that claimed the life of an 84-year-old woman.

Tanner said 90-year-old John Haw Cross Sr., husband of slain Page Arrington Cross, was in stable condition. He was found with multiple self-inflicted lacerations and a gunshot wound in one room of the couple's condominium at Seabrook of Hilton Head by a caretaker Sunday evening.

Cross Sr. is being treated at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Sheriff's Office has said.

His wife, Page Cross, was found lying in a bed in another room, dead of multiple lacerations. The Beaufort County Coroner's Office said Tuesday that it is presumed she died of her wounds at about 3 p.m. Sunday, five hours before her body was found.

Autopsy results at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston are pending.

Investigators continue reviewing the case and no charges have been filed, Tanner said. He would not say whether John Cross Sr. has been interviewed by law enforcement officers or discuss possible motives.

"All that will be determined at the appropriate time," Tanner said. "We will be very thorough in the investigation and do what's appropriate at its conclusion."

Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone confirmed that his office has been working with law enforcement on the case but declined to reveal any other information.

Attempts to reach members of the couple's family Tuesday were unsuccessful.

The couple lived in a private condo complex at Seabrook, a continued-care retirement community at 300 Woodhaven Dr. Caregivers regularly visited their home as part of the community's assisted-living services offered to residents. One such caregiver found two notes when she arrived for an appointment at 8 p.m. Sunday: one attached to the outside door that turned away visitors and another inside that asked her to call 911.

Seabrook executive director Robert Lee declined to discuss the case Tuesday, citing the family's wishes.

The couple's son, John Cross Jr., lives on Hilton Head Island. They also had a daughter, Mary Margaret "Peggy" Cross Turnham, who died in Spartanburg in August 2009 at age 52, according to an obituary in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

A Seabrook resident who requested anonymity said the couple had lived in the retirement community for several years. They mostly kept to themselves and tended to take their meals alone in their home, he said.

Another Seabrook resident who requested anonymity said John and Page Cross were a perfect lady and gentleman. They had lived on the island for many years before moving into Seabrook, he said.

"They seemed to be a warm and devoted couple," he said.

Page Cross was wheelchair-bound. As for John Cross, the Seabrook resident said, "The last time I saw him, he just looked weary."

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