Stafford detectives are investigating an apparent murder–suicide that took place Thursday in the northern part of the county, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo said deputies responded to a home on Brighton Way in the Stonebridge at Widewater subdivision about 12:30 p.m., after a family member reported finding a dead woman in the residence.

The deputies soon found a dead man, as well, Vicinanzo said. Both victims had gunshot wounds, she said.

Vicinanzo said detectives have determined that one of the victims killed the other before committing suicide. She did not say Thursday which of the victims is believed to have killed the other.

Authorities described the victims only as middle-aged. Their names were not released Thursday pending notification of next-of-kin.

The slaying would be the first of the year in Stafford. Police initially thought that the first one occurred March 9, when the badly mutilated body of 16-year-old Jacson Pineda–Chicas was found dumped on the side of River Road in southern Stafford. But the investigation later revealed that Pineda–Chicas was killed at an MS–13 gang meeting in Landover Hills, Md.

Five people have been charged in connection with that slaying, which has been turned over to authorities in Prince George’s County, Md.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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