Ex-Providence police officer, wife dead in murder-suicide

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A retired Providence police officer killed his wife and then himself Saturday, according to police.

At a news conference Sunday morning, Chief Hugh Clements confirmed that 61 year-old Franklin Osgood, who retired from the force in 2007 after serving for a short time, shot and killed his wife, 55 year-old MaryJo Osgood, then fled to New Jersey where he killed himself after being spotted by police.

Police issued a bulletin Saturday seeking the couple after learning that Franklin Osgood was in a “disturbed state,” according to Major David Lapatin.The couple’s adult children contacted the police Saturday afternoon, after receiving a phone call from an audibly disturbed Franklin Osgood.

“He had clearly indicated verbally to a family member, one of his children, that he had caused harm to their mom, to his wife, and as well he indicated that he had every intent to kill himself,” Chief Hugh Clements said during Sunday’s media briefing.

Concerned about their safety, officers went to the couple’s home at 435 Eaton Street and determined it was a crime scene, although no one was there. Police later determined that Osgood had killed his wife in the garage and then drove away with her body in the trunk.

“We had him tracked to Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” says Clements.

At about 9:30 p.m, New Jersey State Police troopers encountered Osgood driving on the New Jersey Turnpike in Ridgefield Park. They tried to stop the vehicle but Osgood refused to pull over; after losing control and crashing into a State Police vehicle, he shot himself. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at about 11:30 p.m.

MaryJo Osgood’s body was found in the trunk of the car. She was also pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after being found.

The New Jersey trooper involved in the crash suffered injuries that are not life-threatening.

Now, MaryJo Osgood’s siblings are speaking out about their beloved sister. The siblings released a statement to Eyewitness News late Sunday night, saying in part that the mother of four and grandmother of two was spunky, funny, and energetic. They say this was clearly a situation that went bad fast, and are sickened by the epidemic of gun and domestic violence in this country. Finally, they added that this is not a time to blame, but a time to reflect on how easily a life can be taken.

Neighbors were in shock after hearing about the murder-suicide, which started on their street.

“When I heard of this incident from the news, oh it’s a great shock. I don’t expect this. I love them, they are a lovely family.”

Franklin Osgood retired from the Providence Police Department in 2007 and was receiving a monthly accidental disability retirement allowance.

Providence Police and Mayor Jorge Elorza plan to visit the couple’s family to express their condolences in the coming days.

The motive for the killings is still being investigated, but police say Osgood was deeply troubled. Police added that they had not responded to the Osgood residence for domestic violence in the past.

“What leads someone to this level of anger and violence with your wife, your loved one, who knows,” says Clements.

Eyewitness News reporter Brian Yocono also contributed to this story.

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