Officials: Couple bled to death in chain saw murder-suicide

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Authorities say a Philadelphia-area husband and wife bled to death in a murder-suicide in which a chainsaw was used.

A corner has ruled the deaths of the couple — found by their son Wednesday– as a murder-suicide.

Montgomery County Coroner Walter Hofman said Wednesday that 48-year-old Christopher Peppelman killed his wife, 41-year-old Nicole Peppelman, and took his own life. They died of “gaping” sharp force wounds to the stomach and thighs, officials said.

The autopsy found Nicole Peppelman was also choked and stabbed.

First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele says “it is apparent that the chain saw was at least one item used in this tragic event.”

Results of toxicology tests are pending.

The couple leaves behind three children. Eric Carswell is the pastor at Bryn Athyn Church School, where two of the couple’s three children go to school. He says the couple was involved in their lives. The boys are in third and sixth grade, officials said.

“I’ve seen them,” Carswell said of the deceased parents. “I’m aware of them, caring for their kids, being involved in their kids sports, connected to a number of people in the community.”

The three children are staying with an aunt and uncle.

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