Tift County-- The murder-suicide of a prominent Tifton couple was apparently the end of an abusive marriage. Police now say that Joy Hill was shot six times by her husband, Bobby, who then shot and killed himself.
And a note found inside Joy Hill's purse was the key to the mystery.
Dozens of people gathered at the Tift County Sheriff's Department to finally get the whole story behind the deaths of Joy and Bobby Hill. "Mrs. Hill was shot six times, Mr. Hill shot once," said District Attorney Paul Bowden.
Shrieks of horror from some family members as they learned the grim details. "That was a contact wound, which meant that a gun was pressed against her head," Bowden said.
Bobby Hill had fired six shots with a Colt .45 semiautomatic,and then one final shot killing himself with a .22 caliber pistol.
"Just something didn't expect, we worked closely with them everyday," Jimmy Taylor, Hill's store manager, said.
Joy Hill was found dead in a chair, wearing a bathrobe. A note inside her purse, dated May 29th, was a grim prophecy. It said "I'm tired of Bobby getting drunk everynight for the past 10 years and abusing me... If he doesn't kill me first, I think I'll have to kill myself."
But deputies say Joy never reported any of the problems. "These notes told story I knew nothing about," Deputy Bobby Brannen said.
Ironically, the last place Joy Hill was seen alive was at a meeting to create a shelter for battered women in Tifton. "It was a great loss to the community," said Joy's brother Tommy Carmichael.
"We're saddened try to go on with life best as Joy wanted us to do," said her brother Toby Carmichael.
Perhaps their first step, encouraging others to get out of abusive relationships.
Bobby Hill left a rather bizarre suicide note requesting his ashes be spread with the family cat's when it dies. Investigators are still awaiting toxicology reports to determine if Bobby Hill had been drinking the night of the shootings.