TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Just hours after Kelly Ecker married George Scott Samson in their western Indiana home, the new bride was on the phone with 911 dispatchers, pleading for help as her husband attacked her.
Moments later, she and her husband would be dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
The couple had married earlier Saturday evening, said Vigo County Sheriff’s Deputy Clark Cottom. Later, Kelly Ecker Samson placed three 911 calls in less than five minutes early Sunday morning. In the final call, made about 1:28 a.m., sounds resembling gunshots are audible in the background, police said.
In the second call, Ecker Samson identifies her husband as the threat she fears and states that there are guns in the home in the 4000 block of North Creal Street, east of Terre Haute.
In each short call, dispatchers ask Ecker Samson to repeat the address of the home. In the first call, Ecker Samson states: “He said he’s going to kill me” before the call ends.
Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos told Terre Haute TV station WTHI that Kelly Ecker Samson died from gunshot wounds to her chest and neck.
George Samson, 54, worked as an anesthesiologist at Union Hospital, Amos said.
“They had just gotten married, and something went terribly wrong,” Amos said. “He shot her, and then shot himself,” she added.
Deputies arrived and entered the home to find Kelly Ecker Samson, 50, dead. They later discovered George Samson dead in the basement of the home. Police said they arrived at the home 12 minutes after the first call.
Cottom said Ecker Samson was shot multiple times in the torso and head with a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun. Cottom said Samson apparently shot himself in the head with a .45-caliber handgun.
“There are a great deal of weapons, several dozen, in the basement,” Cottom said, including “assault, military-type rifles.”
Police also found several hundred rounds of ammunition. “We are working with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives to confirm that (George Samson) was in legal possession of those weapons,” Cottom said.
An elderly man met deputies at the door, and deputies then found Kelly Ecker Samson dead in the home. Cottom said that after George Samson shot his wife, he went to a detached garage, gathered several rounds of ammunition and went into the basement of the home.
Cottom said the Terre Haute Police Department’s Special Response Team was called and used a remote-controlled camera, discovering that Samson was unresponsive, and “it appeared as he may have killed himself,” Cottom said.
Cottom said Kelly Ecker Samson’s son, under the age of 12, was found at the home. The boy and an elderly couple related to George Samson were taken to the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department. Cottom said deputies then called Child Protective Services. Cottom said Monday that the boy has since been released into the custody of the wife’s relatives.
“It is a very tragic incident,” Cottom said. “We have children now without a parent. They both had children from a previous marriage.”
Information for this story was reported by the Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune-Star.