A Holden couple gave no sign they were having problems until both were dead in an apparent murder-suicide, neighbors said Thursday.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office identified the pair as Michael Richardson, 65, and his wife, Nancy, 67.
The Richardsons’ bodies were found Wednesday morning in their home on Tickfaw Acres Road in Holden, according to a news release from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.
An initial investigation indicated Michael Richardson shot his wife, then himself, Chief Criminal Deputy Jason Ard said in the news release.
“Like to blew me away when I heard,” said Gerard Ruth, whose property is across the street from the Richardson residence. “It ain’t hit me yet.”
Another neighbor, Deven Pedaux, who also lives on Tickfaw Acres Road, said the Richardsons were great neighbors.
“He came over and helped us cut trees and haul them off” after Hurricane Gustav in 2008, Pedaux said. “He was just the best neighbor.”
Pedaux said he and the Richardsons had been neighbors for almost 30 years.
Both Ruth and Pedaux said Michael Richardson was proud of his home, which he had rebuilt after five trees fell on it during Gustav.
“He sort of redid that house and we went all over Louisiana finding old cypress and products for the house,” Ruth said.
Michael Richardson also outfitted it with solar panels, which made it a showhouse for solar energy groups, said Margaret Pierce, who worked for the LSU Agricultural Center in the aftermath of Gustav, when Richardson would come in to do research on how to rebuild the house.
During the post-Gustav cleanup period, a log fell on Michael Richardson’s leg, crushing it, Pedaux said.
“He always walked with a bit of a limp,” Pedaux said. “But he was strong; he was trying to push through it.”
Despite that, Michael Richardson’s outlook remained positive, Pierce said.
“He was always very upbeat,” she said. “There was never any negative energy.”
Michael Richardson and his residence were featured in a 2009 story in 225 magazine.
Michael Richardson was a veteran of the U.S. Army and a registered forester, according to information provided by the family. He was employed by Cajun Constructors.
Nancy Richardson had been a Mary Kay consultant and a homemaker, according to information provided by the family.
Detectives investigating the deaths were awaiting the results of autopsies and toxicology reports, Ard said.
The Sheriff’s Office investigation of the case remains active, Ard added.