Family: Couple's Daughter Called 9-1-1 For Murder-Suicide

Published 07/12 2014 06:10PM

Updated 07/12 2014 06:36PM

Banks Township, Carbon County - Friends and neighbors say there was a history of violence between the Wilkinsons in Banks Township, Carbon County.

"She was a nice girl," Maureen Steiner, said of Denise Wilkinson. "She was very athletic, very friendly!"   

According to police 44-year-old Denise Wilkinson was killed by her estranged husband, 44-year-old William Wilkinson, on Friday night.

It happened at the home friends say the couple once shared on East Main Street in Banks Township, Carbon County.

Investigators say after William killed Denise he then shot and killed himself.

Neighbors who knew the couple told Eyewitness News there was a history of problems.

"I was devastated," Steiner said about hearing the news. "But I had said that something like this was going to happen because of his temper."

Court records show that William Wilkinson was arrested in 2012 on aggravated assault charges.

Steiner, who lived two doors down from the couple, said Denise filed for divorce, but William never signed the papers.

"He shot her tire out and wouldn't let her leave," she said. "It's a terrible thing. He needed anger management."

The family of Denise Wilkinson was too devastated to talk on camera, but did confirm to Eyewitness News that the couples 10-year-old daughter was in the home at the time this all happened. They say she was the one to call 9-1-1.

"I just hope she gets all the help she needs," Karen Jacoby, another neighbor, said.

Jacoby said she knew the Wilkinsons in passing. She said everyone in Banks Township has been overcome with emotion since learning about the tragedy.

"I think everyone is touched by it because it's sad," she said while trying to hold back tears.

Police haven't officially said what the couple was arguing about.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday at the Lehigh Valley - Cedar Crest Hospital.

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