July 1, 2016

Mostly sunny

Police: Couple who died at home together is ‘big heartache’

An elderly couple who had lived most of their lives in the Chippewa Lake area were found dead in their home in Rittman on Friday.

Police said Barbara Wray, 79, possibly suffered a stroke and her husband Dean Wray, 80, may have fallen trying to help his wife.

Rittman police Patrolman Brian Covil said he and another officer went to the Wrays’ home at 135 S. Hickin Ave. about 9 p.m. Friday after friends of the couple’s called police. The friends said they were worried because the Wrays failed to show up for a card game.

Dean and Barbara Wray

Dean and Barbara Wray

“They went to the house and they went through their house and found the television on and cars in the driveway, but neither of them were in the home,” Covil said.

The couple returned to their home in Seville and called Rittman police.

Officers found the Wrays dead inside the garage. Covil said it appeared that the husband had been working on a pickup, which was running in the closed garage, when his wife came in and suffered a stroke or other medical emergency.

Dean Wray appeared to have rushed toward his wife, struck his head and was knocked unconscious, Covil said.

Covil said the husband died of carbon monoxide poisoning from the truck exhaust.

“The ignition was on and the gas tank was empty,” he said.

Barbara Wray did not show signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and appears to have died of other causes.

“Nothing there seemed to be foul play,” Covil said. “It was just two bad circumstances at the same time and same place.

“It’s a big heartache.”

According to the couple’s obituary, the two were married in 1957. Services for the couple will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Auble Gillman Funeral Home, 360 W. Sunset Drive, Rittman. Friends and family may call 4 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.