UPDATE 9:45 a.m. - Jacksonville police just identify the victims as Nancie M Johnson-Tinsley and Oscar W. Tinsley, both 67. No further details were released.
A husband and wife are dead in an apparent murder-suicide at the start of what was to be a family reunion Wednesday, relatives at the scene in the 3800 block of Ernjo Road said.
Several people who appeared to know the victims gathered in the shade at the end of the short street and at one point grasped hands and lowered their heads in quiet prayer.
A family member called 911 after discovering the bodies about noon, said Sgt. Craig Waldrup of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The identities have not been officially released, and Waldrup said police did not know how the victims died or if there was a suspect.
But brothers of the woman said the victims had been married about 40 years and they suspected it was murder-suicide.
Nancie Mae Johnson-Tinsley and Oscar Waldon Tinsley were both 67, according to public records.
“She was a good person,” Jack Johnson said.
Another brother, Calvin Johnson, said the family was beginning a reunion Wednesday that would involve 200 people from across the country and had events in Hanna Park and St. Augustine.
“It was a greet-and-meet day,” he said. He said at least one attendee was landing at Jacksonville International Airport about the time police were giving a briefing in the case.
He said the reunion, though obviously somber, would continue.
The men said neither their sister nor their brother-in-law was ill or in bad health.
On Valentine’s Day, Oscar Tinsley was charged with domestic battery, according to court records. He was sentenced to 12 months’ probation but that was dropped May 1. He was also ordered to take anger-management courses and was not permitted to have guns or use drugs or alcohol.
The arrest report said the couple’s 23-year-old son heard his parents arguing and a loud banging about 3:30 a.m.
After he went into their room and called police, his mother told officers she and her husband were arguing about their daughter and she was pushed into the wall and the clothing around her neck was grabbed. She said her son pulled his father away.
Johnson-Tinsley did not have a criminal record in Jacksonville, court records show.
The brothers said the son who stopped the attack in February found his parents Wednesday.
Property records said the single-family house was built in 1988 and the couple appear to be the only owners.
Dana Treen: (904) 359-4091