Police say Fenwick couple had a suicide pact

The bodies of a Brock professor and his wife were pulled from the woods behind their rural home on Tuesday. Police say the deaths were the result of a suicide pact between the pair.

Jonathan Neufeld and Christina Starkbaum killed themselves just days after being charged in a multi million dollar tax fraud.

About 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, police were alerted by a concerned family member that 59 year old Jonathan Neufeld and his wife, 56 year old Christina Starkbaum might be dead. Police found them after searching the woods at the back of their Centre Street house. The couple hadn’t been heard from since Sunday.

Neufeld was a professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University. They’d lived in the Fenwick neighbourhood for about eight years.

Police were asking neighbours if they’d heard gunshots. People we talked to say they were told Neufeld killed Starkbaum, and then turned the gun on himself.

Recently, Neufeld and Starkbaum were both indicted in a nine million dollar fraud investigation in the U.S. The couple were among seven Canadians charged by the U.S. attorney’s office in Buffalo in a multi million dollar I.R.S. scam. They’re accused of filing false tax returns and claiming 3.5 million in refunds to which they weren’t entitled.

Because of the personal nature of these killings, neither Brock University nor the police are commenting any further.