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Police: Young couple died in murder-suicide

Investigators originally thought it was double murder

Danyelle Nicole Ward, 22, was found dead in her apartment in Arlington on Wednesday.
Danyelle Nicole Ward, 22, was found dead in her apartment in Arlington on Wednesday. (Photo provided)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a young couple was found dead in an Arlington apartment in January, what they originally thought was a double murder investigators are now calling a murder-suicide.

According to police, 22-year-old Danyelle Ward and 20-year-old Dean Altizer Jr. were found shot to death at the Reserve at Waters Inlet Apartments on Arlington Expressway. 

Originally it was a scene that stunned people living in the Arlington apartment complex. The young couple was found shot to death inside one of the units. Investigators originally said there was what resembled a forced entry into the apartment.

But now that the investigation is over, detectives said the evidence proves that what happened was a murder-suicide and Ward killed Alitizer before turning the gun on herself.

Danyelle Nicole Ward, 22, was found dead in her apartment in Arlington on Wednesday.
Danyelle Nicole Ward, 22, was found dead in her apartment in Arlington on Wednesday.

Ward's family found the couple and called police. Investigators originally believing someone had murdered the couple.

READ: Man, woman found dead in apartment

But now they believe Ward shot Alitizer based on their gunshot wounds and the final positions of their bodies.

Investigators said the way Ward's dominant hand was positioned is consistent with her having held a weapon prior to her death.

Police said the time frame between gunshots heard by a neighbor is consistent with a murder-suicide.

Investigators also took into account the histories of Altizer and Ward, both individually and as a couple.

Police also said they never found a reasonable explanation of how the murder weapon disappeared from the crime scene.

That weapon still has not been recovered and even though the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said deputies thoroughly investigated how they believe the weapon was removed from the scene, but they don't have any leads to pursue at this time.

Police said they have no more leads to follow, but that the case can be reopened at any time if there is any new information.