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Deputies find Sun City couple dead in apparent murder-suicide

SUN CITY — Authorities said Tuesday that they don't know why a Sun City man shot and killed his wife before he shot and killed himself.

Hillsborough sheriff's deputies found the bodies of Lucy and Jay Pruett in their bedroom Monday night at 726 Ojai Ave. Both were 58. Each died from a gunshot to the head.

"There didn't seem to be any motive," said Debbie Carter, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. "Family members didn't know why that would've happened."

Deputies arrived at the house about 10:30 p.m. with relatives and a friend of the couple after a call for a welfare check. Their daughter and friend had not heard from the Pruetts in two days.

Daughter Julie Wills said she hopes her mother rests in peace. They also have a son, Sean Pruett, living in California.

"My mother was a loving, kind person. She wouldn't hurt a fly. She never did," Wills, 36, said. "She was the best person in this whole world. The sweetest thing in the world. And she didn't deserve that."

There were no prior law enforcement calls to the couple's house, Carter said.

The couple was married for 40 years, said Travis Bunn, Lucy's brother.

"We're still in shock, you know. It just happened last night," Bunn said. "She was loved by everybody."

She was an outgoing, fun-loving woman from Bryan, Texas, Bunn said. She moved to Biloxi, Miss., with Jay, who eventually retired from the Air Force. She also worked in the offices at Keesler Air Force Base.

They moved two years ago to Florida to be closer to their daughter, Wills, and their three grandchildren in Wesley Chapel.

They started renting the home on Ojai Avenue just over a year ago. She played bingo at a nearby community hall and won just a few weeks ago. She enjoyed reading and watching old movies.

Construction was scheduled to begin this week for a house the couple planned in Wesley Chapel or Zephyrhills, Bunn said.

"She seemed to be very happy," Bunn, 60, said. Bunn declined to comment on Lucy's husband, Jay.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Ileana Morales can be reached at (813) 226-3386 or imorales@sptimes.com.

Deputies find Sun City couple dead in apparent murder-suicide 12/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 11:21pm]
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