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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2003

Cash woes may have led couple to suicide

BRYAN - A newly married couple apparently facing serious financial problems killed themselves in the garage of their home, police said.

Police yesterday identified the couple as Kevin Steyer, 39, and his new wife, Sharon, 45, who were living in a two-story home in a well-kept neighborhood.

Authorities yesterday said the two were victims of an apparent double suicide. Bryan police would not release additional information about the case.

Dr. John Moats, county coroner, could not be reached for comment.

But Mike Steyer, who is Kevin Steyer's younger brother, said family members received information from police that confirmed for them the suicides appeared to be well-planned acts and that the couple knew what they were doing.

The two died after they left their car running inside their locked garage. They had gotten married Feb. 1 in Tennessee.

Mr. Steyer said family members do not know why Kevin Steyer, the chief financial officer for Thomas E. Keller Trucking, Inc., of Defiance killed himself.

Mike Steyer said his brother had mentioned recently that he was experiencing financial problems but had said nothing that led his parents, Joseph and Anne Steyer of Defiance, or his three younger brothers to suspect he would take his life.

“I'm not sure why he did this - why they did it,” Mike Steyer said. “I told my dad I don't think we'll ever know, especially when two people do it together.''

According to court documents in Williams County Common Pleas Court, Mr. Steyer listed in a divorce filing late last year that his outstanding debt totaled $285,650. He said at the time that he had made $78,302 the previous year.

Family members of Sharon Steyer could not be reached for comment yesterday. Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Steyer were being handled through Love Funeral Home in Ottawa, Ohio. Details were not available last night.

The funeral for Mr. Steyer, a board member for the Defiance County United Way and member of the Defiance Rotary, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Visitation will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow and from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Lawson-Roessner Funeral Home, Defiance.

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