A man and his autistic son were found dead in Melvindale, Michigan, after what police are saying was a murder-suicide.
The bodies of 58-year-old John Richett and his 20-year-old autistic son Nicholas were found Friday morning in their house on Caryn Street. Richett and his son, whom he affectionately referred to as Nicky, were reported to have shared a close bond, according to FOX News.
John Rowe, a long-time neighbor to the Richetts, told FOX reporters that he was stunned by the news. Rowe also said that Richett was a very nice man, who greatly cared about his autistic son.
“You could tell he really loved Nicky,” Rowe told FOX. “He took care of him. Although Nicky was really tough to handle."
The 58-year-old father reportedly killed his son and then himself because he was afraid of what would happen to Nicholas after he succumbed to medical issues.
“He feared his medical problems would take his life and then he wouldn’t be around to care for his son and he didn’t want to burden the family,” Police Chief Chad Hayse said, according to FOX News.
“He did tell me it was getting harder and harder," Rowe told FOX. “But [I] never expected this. He loved Nicky too much to do that.”
Richett leaves behind two other children and two grandchildren, according to The Daily Mail. A funeral was held for Richett and Nicholas on Sunday.
(Left: John Richett, Right: Nicholas, via The Daily Mail)
Officials say that if you are struggling with a difficult situation and considering killing yourself or others, resources are available to help. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline where individuals on the other line can help you think through the situation and also help you get in touch with further resources, FOX News reports.
The Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK.
Photo Credit: My FOX Detroit