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Expert gives advice on domestic violence after west Toledo investigated as murder-suicide

An autopsy report on the couple said 47-year-old Angela Baldwin's death was ruled a homicide. The death of her husband, Scott Baldwin, was ruled a suicide.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Police are investigating a murder-suicide in west Toledo, where firefighters found a man and a woman dead in a burning house on Leybourn Avenue.

The Lucas County Coroner's Office said Thursday that 47-year-old Angela Baldwin was shot several times and her death was been ruled a homicide. Her husband, Scott Baldwin, was shot once in the head and his death was ruled a suicide.

The coroner's office is looking into whether the fire may have played a role in their deaths.

Neighbors along Leybourn Avenue told WTOL 11 Wednesday they were shocked such a violent crime could even happen in their areas.

"I didn't, I didn't know. I wish I could remember what they looked like," Stacey Kaucki, a neighbor of 15 years, said.

"They're very nice people ... they keep to themselves," Parthena Obst, a neighbor of 22 years, said.

Both Kaucki and Obst said they didn't see any signs of abuse or anything that could signal violence between the Baldwins.

But, Amy Kinney, the board president of Fostoria's First Step Center for Domestic Violence Services, said there's always more to the story and it's not uncommon for neighbors to miss signs of abuse.

"Here's the bottom line: people don't just go from zero to murder-suicide. There is always an in-between," Kinney said. "It doesn't come out of the blue. There might be a 1% that somebody snaps. But it is almost always related to what has been going on ... for quite some time and is probably escalating."

She said the deaths of the Baldwins exemplify how people need to look out for one another. And, she said it's important to note that grieving for others, even if you didn't know them well or know them at all, is acceptable.

"Complex grief is so difficult, and that's what this will be: complex grief," she said. It is so so hard to grieve this type of situation."

Since neighbors live nearby and family was in touch, Kinney said there will be guilt with this pain. But, it's not always easy to see the signs.

However, for those in domestic violence situations, who know someone in a violent relationship or who sense that something may be wrong in a relationship, Kinney recommended talking to a professional.

"If nothing else walk over to your neighbor's house and say 'Hey, I'm so-and-so. If you ever need anything, I'm here.'" Kinney said. 

The holiday season can be a very stressful and triggering time for domestic violence situations. Kinney said the safest thing to do is find help. She suggested calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or visiting its website for information and resources.

RELATED: Man shot, dies in north Toledo apartment hallway; police investigating

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