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Watauga County Sheriff’s Office logo

DEEP GAP — A married couple was found dead from apparent gunshot wounds in Deep Gap on the night of July 8, according to the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. The incident report describes the deaths as a murder-suicide.

“On July 8, 2020, at 10 p.m., a 911 call was received at Watauga Communications regarding 172 Born Again Drive, in Deep Gap,” the WCSO stated. “The caller stated that he had found his brother and sister-in-law deceased.”

WCSO deputies responded along with Watauga Medics and Deep Gap Fire Department to the address and found Douglas Allen Watson, 57, and Elizabeth Case Watson, 57, to be deceased in the home. Upon initial investigation, both individuals appear to have suffered gunshot wounds, WCSO stated.

“The incident is believed to be domestic in nature; however, the investigation is still ongoing,” WCSO stated. “During this difficult time, our thoughts are with the Watson family during this tragic loss.”

The 911 caller indicated that a neighbor had noticed a door at the home had been open for two hours, and the neighbor looked in a window and saw the deceased couple. The caller said he himself then went inside the home to check.

“My brother and sister-in-law are dead,” he told the dispatcher. “One shot the other one, and ... (his voice trailed off).”

WCSO Major Kelly Redmon said on July 10 that there was evidence that the incident was domestic in nature, but that the investigation was ongoing. Redmon said he had no new information to share as of July 14.

The first page of the WCSO incident report described the incident as a “murder/non-negligent manslaughter” and “murder/suicide” and listed the weapon as a handgun. Elizabeth Watson was listed as a victim on the incident report.

Redmon said he did not believe anyone else resided with the couple at the Born Again Drive residence. According to their obituaries, the Watsons are survived by three sons and their grandchildren.

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