A caregiver who arrived at the home of an elderly couple in a Hilton Head Island retirement community at 8 p.m. Sunday found a note on the door turning visitors away.
Inside, another note told her to call 911.
That's when she found the body of 84-year-old Page Cross on the bed in the couple's unit of the Seabrook continued-care retirement community. Cross had several cuts on her body. In a nearby room Mrs. Cross's husband, John Cross, 90, was lying on the floor with multiple cuts and a gunshot wound.
The Sheriff's Office suspects that John Cross, who is being treated for his injuries, killed his wife then tried to kill himself.
John Cross was taken to Hilton Head Hospital and was later transported to an undisclosed hospital in Savannah for continued treatment, according to Sgt. Robin McIntosh of the Sheriff's Office.
McIntosh would not specify the weapon used in the suspected murder and attempted suicide. She said Page Cross was found with "obvious signs of trauma," and John Cross's injuries appeared to be self-inflicted.
She declined to disclose details about the couple's medical history or any suspected motive for the crime.
A woman reached at the Cross' home who identified herself as a relative said the family did not want to comment.
Robert Lee, Seabrook executive director, said the couple lived in a private condominium complex. He said Seabrook is a continued-care retirement community that offers three levels of care: independent living, assisted-living services and a skilled-nursing facility.
"In respect to the family's wishes, we're not going to make any specific comment," Lee said. "Our primary concern is our resident population, which has an average age of 86, and how we're going to help them cope with this. We're also concerned with how to help the grandchildren of these residents."
Autopsy results at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston are pending.