An elderly Kidder Township couple was found dead in their home on Saturday afternoon and several hours later a suspect in the deaths committed suicide when confronted by police nearly 70 miles from the scene and in the victims' vehicle.
State police at the Stonington barracks said Gregory Earl Demage, 30, of 1025 Center St., Jim Thorpe, shot himself while in a 2006 Cadillac DTS sedan along SR61 near Feeney Street in Coal Township, just outside Shamokin, in Northumberland County.
The Cadillac was the object of a search in connection with the deaths of John Carnochan, 77, and his wife, Mildred Carnochan, 75, who resided at 33 Wolf Hollow Drive in Split Rock Resort, Lake Harmony, Kidder Township.
Authorities confirmed that Demage was the grandson of Mildred Carnochan.
Their bodies were found about noon on Saturday when township police went to the home to check on the welfare of the couple. Missing from the residence was the Carnochan's Cadillac.
State police at the Fern Ridge barracks, who are investigating the deaths, notified troopers at the Stonington barracks to check a residence in Snydertown for the missing vehicle.
Troopers observed the vehicle about 8 p.m. traveling near Snydertown Road and attempted to stop it. The driver sped off eluding troopers. About 20 minutes later Ralpho Township police spotted the vehicle and pursued it. The vehicle was stopped on SR61 in Coal Township and a brief standoff ensued.
The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Demage, shot and killed himself inside the vehicle, troopers said. The site where Demage took his life is about 70 miles from Lake Harmony.
Stonington troopers said several police departments surrounded the stopped vehicle, which was in a travel lane of SR61 near a Pizza Hut Restaurant. Assisting at the scene were police from Shamokin, Mt. Carmel, Kulpmont, Coal Township, Mt. Carmel Township, and Sunbury.
Also assisting at the scene were members of the Northumberland County Sheriff's Department and the county coroner's office.
Demage was called a "person of interest" in the death of the Carnochans. Troopers did not state how the Carnochans died, but Carbon County Coroner Bruce Nalesnik said they died of "multiple wounds." Autopsies are scheduled for today at the Lehigh Valley Hospital, in Salisbury Township. An autopsy on Demage is scheduled for tomorrow.
Troopers did not indicate a motive for the shooting. Demage is no stranger to law enforcement. He has charges of simple assault, terroristic threats, harassment and possession of drug paraphernalia pending in Carbon County.
Those charges stem from a Nov. 7, 2011, incident at his home. Jim Thorpe police responded to the residence about 1:08 p.m. to a report of a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival officers were told by Renee K. Demage, the suspect's wife, that he had threatened her with a knife and that money was demanded.
Demage was taken into custody and transported to the police station following that incident. At the station, police found a syringe on the floor in front of Demage. He admitted it was his and that resulted in the drug count.
He waived all the charges against him at a preliminary hearing before District Judge Edward Lewis, of Jim Thorpe, and was scheduled to appear at the district attorney's office at the courthouse in Jim Thorpe, on March 29 at 9 a.m. for a pretrial conference.
Assisting troopers in the investigation of the deaths are Kidder Township police, the coroner's office and the Carbon County District Attorney's Office.