Public Information Officer
UPDATE: 05/19/17 - 4:35 p.m.
The female victim in this case has been positively identified as 75-year-old Gail Caulfield.
UPDATE: 05/12/17 - 3:20 p.m.
An autopsy was completed today on the female victim whose remains were found in the yard on Canterbury Street. It was determined that the victim died as the result of a gunshot wound. The Sheriff’s Office Major Case Unit is continuing efforts to positively identify the victim.
UPDATE: 8:30 p.m.
A body has been located buried in the yard at the house on Canterbury Street. Sheriff's detectives will be working with the medical examiner's office to establish positive identity.
DETECTIVES INVESTIGATING POSSIBLE MURDER-SUICIDE IN DELTONA
A call Tuesday night from a concerned relative asking deputies to check on the welfare of an elderly Deltona couple ended in tragedy when a man took his own life in what could be one half of a murder-suicide. Laurence Caulfield killed himself Tuesday night while Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies were on scene investigating. And inside his house was a hand-written note from Caulfield claiming that he had killed his ailing wife and buried her in the backyard.
Deputies were dispatched to the residence on Canterbury Street after a relative called from out of state at about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday night, saying she hadn’t talked to the Caulfields in several months. On Tuesday, the relative received a disturbing package in the mail from 75-year-old Laurence Caulfield that contained the couple’s will and life insurance policy along with other financial information and contact information for the couple’s doctors. The package contained a letter from Caulfield saying that his wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and that he was struggling to cope, both physically and emotionally. “He also has guns in the house, and I’m concerned,” the caller told the Sheriff’s Office call-taker. “The way it’s been written is a concern -- a strong concern.”
Deputies arrived at the residence and spoke to Caulfield, who confirmed that his wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and claimed that he had moved her to Kansas City to live with friends of the family. When deputies asked how they could get in contact with his wife, Caulfield said his daughter in New Jersey had all of the information. But when deputies spoke to the daughter, she said she didn’t know anything about her mother moving to Kansas City. The daughter later was able to make contact with her father, who said that his wife was asleep in the house. With concerns heightened, deputies began pounding on the door, but no one answered. Shortly afterwards, at about 10:27 p.m., deputies heard a gunshot coming from the rear of the house and rushed to the backyard to find Caulfield on the ground with a gunshot wound and a gun by his side. When deputies entered the residence to look for his wife, they found a small stack of papers which included the note from Caulfield.
Caulfield was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Deltona, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. Deputies staged at the house overnight to preserve the scene. This morning, Sheriff’s detectives obtained a search warrant and have begun looking for remains in the backyard.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151