A 62-year-old Lake Worth man shot and killed his wife in Boynton Beach Monday evening, telling police she suffered from dementia and had asked him to do it.
Officials said the victim, Pamela Kruspe, 60, was found with a gunshot wound to the chest behind the Parkside Inn Assisted Living Facility around 7:30 p.m.
Neighbors of the couple wanted to stay anonymous but said the two were inseparable.
“They would do everything together," the neighbor said. "Walk the dog together, go get the mail together. You saw one, the other one wasn’t far behind.”
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Boynton Beach police said the shooter, identified as her husband, Stephen Raymond Kruspe, 62, called 911 and was taken into custody.
Kruspe told police his wife suffered from dementia and that her condition was worsening. Kruspe said his wife wanted to die and had asked him several times to kill her.
“They loved each other so much, anything she asked of him she would do," the neighbor said.
Kruspe who was married to Pamela for 42 years said he could not deal with how mad she was and that he recently felt broken hearted about what she was going through.
Kruspe says he hugged her after shooting her and hoped she was at peace. Kruspe told police he was willing to sacrifice anything to get her to where she wanted to be.
Officers found a .42 caliber handgun on a back patio railing. A gun magazine was also next to weapon with bullets inside.
Detectives confirmed with staff members that Pamela was a patient at the facility. Kruspe was an employee at the Jupiter Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse President released a statement saying, "We're heartbroken about what happened. Our thoughts are with Stephen's wonderful family."
The couple has three children but they did not want to comment on the incident.
Stephen Kruspe was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail at 1:06 a.m. Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder. A judge denied his bond.
WPTV's legal expert, Michelle Suskauer, said although he is charged with first-degree murder the state might not pursue that charge.
“There certainly is a tremendous amount of mitigation here because this is a really tragic case," Suskauer said. "The problem is, a key witness in this case is missing and that's his wife."
Kruspe had quit his job at the Jupiter Lighthouse last summer to take care of his wife fulltime.
“He was telling us he was depressed," the neighbor said.
The president of Alzheimer's Community Care, Mary Barnes, said she has seen many cases were both the patient and caregiver suffer from depression.
“It’s a heartbreaking disease but it doesn’t have to be a burden," Barnes said.
Barnes said it's important for caregivers to reach out for help early on. She said there's financial help, as well as caregiver support groups and assisted living facilities that can help ease the burden on families. For more information click here.