CHILHOWIE, Va. — Authorities believe a Chilhowie man shot and killed his wife and then shot himself in an apparent homicide-suicide, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities discovered the bodies of Sarah Elizabeth Cunningham, 46, and Chad Robert Cunningham, 48, Wednesday at the couple’s residence on Piedmont Circle near Chilhowie after deputies conducted a welfare check.

A preliminary autopsy conducted Thursday at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Roanoke revealed both died of gunshot wounds, the release states.

The investigation will remain active pending the medical examiner’s final toxicology report, Sheriff Chip Shuler said.

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