Northern York County Regional Police investigate a murder-suicide in the 900 block of Hedgegate Lane in Manchester Township on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.
Northern York County Regional Police investigate a murder-suicide in the 900 block of Hedgegate Lane in Manchester Township on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. (Bil Bowden)

A Manchester Township couple who had been experiencing marital problems were found dead in their bedroom on Tuesday afternoon.

Parag Patel, 43, fatally shot his 41-year-old wife, Niha Patel, in the head, then killed himself with a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to York County Chief Deputy Coroner Claude Stabley, who's ruled the incident a murder-suicide.

No autopsies are planned, Stabley said.

The bodies were found by adult family members about 1:45 p.m. in the master bedroom of the home in the 900 block of Hedgegate Lane, but it appears the murder-suicide happened between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to Stabley.

The home sits at the end of a street lined with manicured lawns and blooming gardens in the Edinbridge development.

Asleep? "She was in bed and he was on the floor next to the bed," Stabley said. "She was in a position that indicated she might have been sleeping (when shot)."

He said based on his examination at the scene, it appears both they died instantly or within a second or two.

The couple's two children were at school when the shootings happened, but Niha Patel's mother and two other family members were home at the time, Stabley said.

Northern York County Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel said no one heard the shots.

As police were investigating the scene, a man and a woman stopped their car about a block from the Patel's home, saying they heard about the incident and feared they knew the couple.

Their fears were realized when they learned in which home the shooting occurred. The woman turned away crying as the man shook his head, trying to piece together what caused the killing and suicide.

Little noise: Despite the fact that Parag Patel used a .38-caliber revolver to kill his wife and himself, both wounds were contact wounds, according to Stabley, meaning the barrel of the gun was against skin when the gun was fired.

Also, he said, it's a large house and their bedroom door was closed.

"The noise would have been minimal," Stabley said.

Investigators determined the couple had been going through marital issues, he said.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com. Staff writer Greg Gross contributed to this report.