On January 25, former missionaries James A. Daub (61) and Deborah A. Daub (59) were found dead alongside their 26-year-old daughter, Morgan, in their backyard at their house in York County, Pennsylvania, after they died in an apparent suicide pact.
According to police, each family member left a suicide note behind, informing those who found them that their fatal gunshot wounds to the head were self-inflicted.
Detective Timothy Fink said, “The note from James Daub indicated that he wished to commit suicide but there were only two guns and he was too shaky to pull the trigger, so Deborah pulled the trigger for him. The note from Deborah stated that she was unable to pull the trigger, so her daughter pulled the trigger. But it should still be considered a suicide.”
The notes left by Daub family included instructions regarding which relatives should be contacted and informed, how to find their will, and their wishes for the family dog.
“There was a note indicating that the dog had been sedated with medication so that it wouldn’t pose any type of danger to any of the first responders,” the detective shared.
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Deborah shared in her note that her daughter proposed death by suicide after complaining of repetitive auditory hallucinations. Fink explained that “Deborah then indicated that she didn’t want her daughter to die alone and was going to join her when she decided to end her life.”
Fink believes that there were “varying degrees of mental illness that played into each person’s decision to end their life.”
Detectives shared that all three family members were wearing ear protection in what is believed to have been an attempt to block out the noise of the gunshots.
According to neighbors, the Daubs, who were once outgoing and known for hosting neighborhood Halloween parties in their garage while kids would trick-or-treat, became isolated and withdrawn in recent years.
One neighbor shared that he previously received spiritual counseling from the family, for himself and his son, which included a lot of prayer. Them doing so wasn’t out of the ordinary due to the fact that James and Deborah were former missionaries who did work in Ethiopia and were ordained ministers.