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SHELBY, N.C. -- Deputies in Cleveland County are investigating a murder-suicide that family members say likely was a mercy killing.

Multiple media outlets reported that the bodies of a husband and wife were found Friday afternoon at their home near Shelby.

Officials say the man reported to 911 that he had killed his wife. When deputies arrived, they found both the man and woman had been shot to death. They said family and friends reported that the wife suffered from a serious illness.

Authorities did not release the identity of the couple.

Angie Michael says the victims were her mother and stepfather, who had been married for 16 years. She says her mother had been in a lot of pain from kidney failure.

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