Man who killed family suffered from depression, police say — (Philly.com)

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Philly.com

By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Staff Writer

June 7, 2005

Investigators were still searching for a motive in the murder-suicide in Landenberg.

Davis E. Weaver had been undergoing treatment for depression when he fatally shot his wife and two sons before killing himself last week at their Southern Chester County home, police said yesterday.

“He did suffer from depression,” but it was not known what role the illness may have played in the murder-suicide, said a state police spokesman, Trooper Corey Monthei of the Avondale barracks.

Police say Weaver, a 61-year-old school guidance counselor, shot and killed his wife, Nancy, 51, and their sons, Matthew, 21, and Mark, 18, with a revolver he owned before turning the gun on himself.

Police discovered their bodies in the bedrooms of their Landenberg, London Britain Township, home Thursday night. The family had last been seen together Wednesday.

As funeral arrangements were being made, Monthei said investigators were still searching for a motive. He said it remained unclear whether any of the Weavers were alerted when Davis Weaver began shooting.

“I don’t think we know exactly how this occurred, as far as how the young men weren’t alerted,” Monthei said. “The investigation is ongoing, and probably will be for some time.

“There are some questions that may never be answered, unfortunately.”

Davis Weaver seemed “troubled for the last few months,” but had not discussed why, his sister, Joyce Nolt of Lancaster, said Saturday. Nolt declined to comment further yesterday.

The Weavers were well-known and highly regarded in their community. Davis and Nancy Weaver were longtime educators in the Christina School District in Delaware, where Nancy Weaver was a teacher of deaf children.

Mark Weaver was about to graduate from St. Mark’s High School in the Diocese of Wilmington, and was headed for the U.S. Naval Academy. Matthew was an honors student at the University of Maryland. He was planning to spend the fall semester in Australia.

Davis Weaver had been on medical leave since March 22 and planned to retire at the end of June. Nolt had said her brother took the leave to recover from a shoulder injury. Colleagues held a retirement dinner for Weaver on May 25 in Wilmington.

Funeral arrangements for Davis Weaver were not available yesterday.

Services for Nancy, Mark and Matthew Weaver will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the family’s church, Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, 300 State Rd., West Grove.

Friends and family were invited to call at the church from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today, or from 8 to 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Relatives requested memorial contributions be made to the Matthew and Mark Weaver Scholarship Fund, St. Mark’s High School, 2501 Pike Creek Rd., Wilmington, Del. 19808.

Tom Ogden, spokesman for the school, said the fund would go toward tuition for St. Mark’s students with financial needs.

Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 610-701-7637 or rkanaley@phillynews.com. Inquirer staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea contributed to this article.