Details emerge in New Market murder-suicide

“There’s been a shooting.”

Those four words comprised a note, along with a set of keys in the door, that greeted the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office deputies who arrived at 178 Foothills Lane in New Market before encountering an apparent murder-suicide, according to a search warrant filed in Shenandoah Circuit Court.

The search warrant states that upon entering the residence, deputies located the body of Deborah June Ward, 58, in the living room and the body of Edward Joseph Nonnemacher, 77, in the master bedroom with a gun in his possession.

Both victims died of gunshot wounds. Nonnemacher’s were self-inflicted, according to a news release from Sheriff Timothy C. Carter.

Among the items seized in the search are two other handwritten notes, assorted keys, a Timex watch, ammunition, a handgun, shell casings, bedding, a primer residue collection kit and a cellular telephone.

The alleged murder-suicide occurred in a property owned by Nonnemacher. According to the Shenandoah online Geographic Information System, Nonnemacher purchased a property at 159 Bridge Street in Mount Jackson from Ward in 2010.

Although the details of Ward and Nonnemacher’s relationship are unclear at this point, officers with the Sheriff’s Office have confirmed the two lived together at the New Market address.

When asked about the real estate transaction, Maj. Scott Proctor with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office said investigators are aware of the transaction.

Additionally, Proctor declined to comment on whether the department has any leads regarding a motive.

“I can’t speculate on a motive at this point,” he said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com