LADYVILLE, Mon. Apr. 20, 2015–Several friends stopped by the white 3-storey mansion on the Old Airport Road in Ladyville to visit their friends, the businessman Michael Estell, 54, and his common-law wife Coleen Michelle Sharp, 30, at various times yesterday, Sunday, but after getting no answer they simple drove away—concerned.
The young woman who works in a bar named Mark’s Bar on the ground floor of the building called Coleen’s phone—no answer, and the concerns grew.
And as the evening turned into night, the silence from Estell’s house prompted one of his workers to go to the police; family members had also called police.
Accompanied by Ladyville police, the worker hammered at the burglar-barred door on the second floor until it eventually gave way, and they entered to find a tragic crime scene inside.
There were blood stains in the couple’s bedroom. As police made their way into the bathroom, the grim sight of two dead bodies greeted them.
Police confirmed that there was no forced entry into the home of the businessman, who owned several rented properties.
The murder/suicide weapon, a .380 Smith & Wesson pistol licensed to Estell, was found inside the bathroom, next to Estell’s body.
Police, however, did not say whether more than two expended shells were retrieved from the bathroom where the bodies were discovered.
Michael Estell was sprawled on the bathroom floor with a gunshot wound to the head, while Coleen Sharp, whose body was discovered, also on the bathroom floor, had a gunshot wound near her eyebrow. The two had been dead for several hours.
Police last night confirmed that there were strands of Coleen’s hair in one of Michael’s hands, suggesting that the two were involved in a struggle prior to the shooting.
The discovery led to a frenzy of police activity, beginning with the posting of an unmarked police SUV that was parked immediately at the front gate and a uniformed police officer at the gate.
Coleen’s mother was on the scene, crying inconsolably. “I wan si Coleen. Why I can’t see Coleen,” the grieving mother wailed, as she was held between two women.
The police’s scenes of crime technicians arrived and made their way into the house shortly after 9:00 p.m.
The crowd outside was still keeping its vigil around 11:30 p.m. when the two bodies were carried away in the pan of a police pickup. The finality of it all was almost unbearable for Coleen’s mother, who was put in a vehicle and driven away, her unabated wailing sounding almost surreal against the silence that was descending on the area as the crowd began to leave.
In their report, police said, “Coleen and Michael were out socializing on Saturday night and had arrived home at approximately 10:00 p.m. and no one had seen them since.”
Police confirmed this morning at a press briefing that another weapon, also licensed to Estell, was found in another room of the house.
The .380 pistol was found between the two bodies, which were lying in pools of blood, Superintendent Hilberto Romero told reporters this morning.
Romero said that an autopsy on the two bodies will determine at what time the couple died, and that the firearms examiner will determine who was shot first, and with the information derived from those two examinations, they “will be in a better position to determine what transpired.”
Romero said that the police in Ladyville had not received any report of domestic violence from Estell’s home.
A woman who works at Mark’s Bar on the ground floor of the building in which the couple lived, and who spoke to reporters on the scene on condition of anonymity, said, “Michael came home first on Saturday night, and then about 15 minutes later, Coleen showed up; that is the norm.”
The woman said that she closed the bar around 11:00 p.m. Saturday night.
“We opened about 6:00 a.m. this morning [Sunday], and about 7:00 a.m., the first set of guys came to look for Mike.
“Mike don’t allow anyone to shout for him; if they are his friends, they know his number. I decided to call Coleen, and she did not answer me. Normally, she answers me,” the woman said.
The woman said that she opened the gate and stood by the gate and waited for the police to come.
Asked how she would characterize the couple’s relationship, the woman replied, “Every time you see them together, they were a normal couple. We don’t see anything wrong.”
“I was shocked when I found out that they were dead,” the woman said.
A close neighbor of the couple, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Someone called me and said that Mike Estell died, but I wasn’t sure which Mike Estell, because I know two Mike Estells, and then they called me back and said, ‘it’s your neighbor.’”
“And I went like, really? Then when I looked outside I see the lot of cars; I said, oh my God, it’s true. That was really shocking,” the neighbor said.
She said that she had socialized at their house on a few occasions and had never seen any kind of uneasiness between them.
Estell and Coleen are the parents of an 11-year-old daughter who was desperately trying to reach her parents by phone all day on Sunday.