Cause of Deaths Released in Pocomoke City Double Murder-Suicide - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Cause of Deaths Released in Pocomoke City Double Murder-Suicide

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Marvin Purnell Sr. (purple shirt), Karen Purnell (center), Renee Purnell-Cooper and Marvin Purnell Jr. (Facebook) Marvin Purnell Sr. (purple shirt), Karen Purnell (center), Renee Purnell-Cooper and Marvin Purnell Jr. (Facebook)

POCOMOKE CITY, Md.- Maryland State Police have released new information about the cause of deaths of three people in the recent double murder-suicide on Groton Road in Pocomoke City.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner said 78-year-old Marvin Wilmer Purnell was shot twice in the face. Karen Purnell, 53, was shot once in the back of the head and stabbed multiple times. Their deaths were ruled a homicide. 

Marvin Desmond Purnell, 46, died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the neck. His death was ruled a suicide. The elder Purnell is the father of Karen and Marvin Desmond Purnell. Police said they have found no motive for the murders at this time.

Family and friends are fondly remembering the Purnell family. Neighbor and friend, Desmond Selby said the Purnell's were God-fearing people who loved their church and their community. 

"That's how the family was and that's how they all were, from the father, to the son, to the daughter, down to the grandchildren," Selby said. 

He said most of all Marvin Sr., Karen and Marvin Jr. loved each other. 

"The Purnell's were the ideal neighbors to have. If you actually sat back and looked, it was amazing the way that they cared for each other, for their families and anyone that they came in contact with," Selby said. 

When family and friends learned Marvin Jr. had killed his father and sister and then himself, they were stunned. 

"What hurts and what's a mystery for some is just that they were the Purnell's," Selby said. "There was no Little Marvin, Big Marvin, Karen, everybody has different personalities but all and all they were just one." 

Their deaths leave more questions than answers in this small community. Selby said he knows the grieving process will be difficult, but remembering the loving way the Purnell family lived, and not how they died, will be the light he carries on. 

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