Nfld. & Labrador

Separate burials, obituary omissions: C.B.S. couple had rocky relationship, says family

Police are not saying it, but the signs indicate a horrific ending to the long relationship between Upper Gullies' residents Patsy Scott and John Murphy, found dead Dec. 21.

Family of Patsy Scott say she talked about leaving longtime partner, John Murphy

The bodies of Patsy Scott and John Murphy were found on their property in Upper Gullies on Dec. 21.

Police are not saying it, but the signs — separate burials, details noticeably absent from their obituaries, and confirmation that their relationship was strained — indicate a horrific ending to the long relationship between Upper Gullies residents Patricia (Patsy) Scott and John Murphy.

A funeral service was held for the couple at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Upper Gullies on Friday, but Scott's family refused to allow the couple to be buried together, CBC News has learned.

A funeral service for Patricia (Patsy) Scott of Upper Gullies, Conception Bay South, took place on Friday. (Hickey's Funeral Home)

Patsy Scott was buried at the church cemetery, next to her mother, while Murphy was buried on his native Bell Island.

And despite being together for more than three decades, neither partner was mentioned in their respective online obituaries.

Patsy Scott talked about separation

A member of Scott's family has also confirmed there was longstanding friction in their relationship, and that Patsy Scott had talked about separating from John Murphy.

"They haven't had it easy," said the family member.

But police have not said this was a murder-suicide, with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary issuing the following statement on Monday:

"The investigation remains active and we are waiting on the [Office of the Chief Medical Examiner] for further information. There is nothing further to provide at this time."

According to Statistics Canada, men account for more than 90 per cent of those accused of murder-suicide in Canada.

Officers swarmed the couple's home on Roberts Road North in the Conception Bay South community late in the afternoon of Dec. 21 after receiving what a spokesman described as a call for assistance.

Scott and Murphy were both found dead on the property, and police quickly determined the deaths were "isolated" and that there was no further threat to public safety.

The RNC gave a brief statement to reporters on Dec. 23, asking for anyone with information that might help their investigation to come forward.

The family of Patsy Scott refused to let her be buried next to her longtime partner, John Murphy. (Hickey's Funeral Home)

Both Scott and Murphy were in their early 50s, with Scott working two jobs in the food service industry, while Murphy worked in the public works division with the Town of Conception Bay South.

They had an adult son.

Neighbours say Murphy was quiet, while Scott was more outgoing. Murphy was also recovering from a long illness.

And neighbours say they did not hear anything unusual before police arrived.

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