Coroner says couple died of single gunshot wounds

The Venango County coroner confirmed Tuesday that the deaths of a couple whose bodies were found in their Mercer Road home were the result of single gunshot wounds.

Christina Rugh said an autopsy performed Tuesday in Erie determined that John B. Heckathorne Jr. and Barbara Heckathorne, both 63, died from the gunshot wounds.

The couple were found dead Saturday evening in their Frenchcreek Township home, Franklin state police said.

“It does appear to be a murder-suicide scenario,” Rugh said.

Rugh did not elaborate further on details of the shootings.

John Heckathorne had been caring for his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease, according to a neighbor.

The investigation by Franklin state police is continuing.