Police investigated last night if a former counselor killed his 60-year-old wife before taking his own life.
The bodies of John Dunbavand and his wife Janette, former mayor of Tory, were found at their home in Hertfordshire yesterday morning.
Last night, neighbors reported hearing a single gunshot before the police were called home.
Janette Dunbavand (pictured left and right) and her husband John were discovered at 7.55am
Neighbors of the elderly couple, both 81 years old, said that Janette lived with dementia before her death
The Dunbavands, both 81 years old, had lived for seventy years in their £ 750,000 home in Northchurch, near Berkhamsted.
Ms. Dunbavand has had a long and successful career in local politics, but neighbors have claimed to be seriously ill with advanced dementia.
One said: "Janette has suffered a lot in recent times. She could not even recognize people and friends, despite having lived in the ward all her life.
& # 39; It must have been difficult for them as a couple to deal with. It's very sad, but maybe they thought this was the only way out for them ".
While the police carried on forensic work in a tent in the front garden, another neighbor, who did not want to be named, said: "The police are not telling us much, but we know that Janette had dementia and was really struggling recently ".
A third neighbor said, "John was struggling to take care of her. He might have thought," I can't look after her anymore.
The Hertfordshire police were called to the property by £ 750,000 after receiving concerns about their well-being
Mrs Dunbavand died in the same house where she was born. It was built by his father, a well-known local builder. He joined the municipal council of Dacorum in 1985 and retired in 2003 having also worked as mayor between 1994 and 1995.
Later he joined the Northchurch parish council, while her husband was a conservative adviser.
In 2011, Ms. Dunbavand led a campaign to try to stop the drivers darting along her country lane.
At the time, he told a local newspaper: "I've lived on Darrs Lane all my life and the road is extremely dangerous … it's a block with traffic that goes too fast. Something has to be done."
A residue from that campaign was a 30 mile road sign now that it was still connected to the hedge outside his home yesterday. The house remained isolated last night.
Ms. Dunbavand was a director of the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust and, until two years ago, was still active as director of Berkhamsted School Enterprises Limited. This group promotes the commercial interests of the £ 30,000-a-year private school.
She and her husband were both golf enthusiasts and enjoyed playing at the nearby Stocks Golf Club until the seventies.
The former mayor was also a horsewoman and often wandered around the Northchurch Common. She joined the old Hertfordshire Hunt in the fifties.
The couple was together for 60 years, after marrying in the pretty market town of Berkhamsted in 1958.
The Dunbavands had a daughter, Susan, 56, who is thought to live in Australia, and a son, Robin, 54, who also lives on their street.
The police said the couple's welfare reports were called to the following address. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
To pay tribute to the couple, a Berkhamsted School spokesman said: "Both were popular local politicians and had served as governors. Mrs Dunbavand was also an old Berkhamstedian, having attended school during her first and sixth years.
"The Dunbavand spouses will be remembered for their contribution to both the school and local communities".
Gordon Godfrey, of the Northchurch parish council, said: "They have served the community for many years. Unfortunately, Janette has had dementia for a number of years. She was all to take care of the area and its people."
The Hertfordshire police said, "The circumstances surrounding the deaths are being investigated and the police remain on the scene."
Neighbors of a former mayor and her husband who were found dead in their isolated home today in an apparent suicide by murder revealed how they heard gunshots sounding in the early hours.
Janette Dunbavand, who had been mayor of the leafy Berkhamsted, and her husband John, a former conservative adviser, were discovered at 7.55am.
Neighbors of the elderly couple, both 81 years old, said that Janette lived with dementia before her death, while a resident claimed to have heard some gunshots this morning.
The Hertfordshire police were called into the property by £ 750,000 after receiving concerns about their well-being.
They entered the house and discovered that the two occupants had already died.
The alarm was raised around 8:00 am after police received calls from interested people for the welfare of the elderly couple
Police pointed out that there is no threat to the wider community and that no one else is being sought in connection with the deaths.
A pathologist was called to the scene to examine the bodies before they had to be taken to a mortuary hospital for an autopsy.
The neighbors revealed their shock at the news of the tragic deaths in the characteristic property where the Dunbavands had lived for at least 35 years.
One man said: "Janette hasn't been very good for a long time – she had dementia and I think John was taking care of her and taking care of her for a while.
"I don't think she's been in a good mood for a while and this was probably her decision.
"I heard a shot this morning, but the police didn't confirm what it was – it's really very sad. When we moved, they were kind and friendly people.
"Janette was a very active member of the local community – she was president of the local council. She was a lovely woman and she was such a busy body! I think it's a bit of a tragic situation."
Another neighbor added: "I think he (John) was struggling with the fact that he was very sick – the one with the other was very affectionate and very happy, but I don't think he expressed how he felt I think he was struggling with all this.
& # 39; e & # 39; something so strange that it happens on your way. We heard the shot this morning, but we didn't go to see what it was, fortunately, and it took us a while to get back to our homes. Apparently the police will be here all night. "
Nearby, Amy Harmin, 44, said the couple was well known in the area and Jannette's family owned the land around Darrs Lane.
He said: "I didn't know them very well, but they were kind to talk to. They were both involved in the local council and lived here forever.
"Jannette's family owned the land around here. I know they had two children and several grandchildren.
"It's absolutely horrible, but almost a relief to hear that he was confined to their home and it wasn't something more sinister."
Another neighbor who asked not to be named said his wife was a good friend of Jannette.
He said: "It's tragic, my wife knew the woman well and is very upset.
& # 39; The police posted a note through our doors and said they would come back with more information today. It's really terrible. "
Another neighbor who asked not to be named added that the couple was "loved and respected".
Janette was mayor of the Dacorum district between 1994 and 1995 and former counselor in the Northchurch Parish Council.
She was appointed director of Berkhamsted School Enterprise Ltd from 1996 to 2002 and director of the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust from 1997 to 1999.