Summary:

Paragraph 14 reads: "Investigators did not offer an explanation Friday for the deaths."

"But Gage said his ex-wife had been going through postpartum depression after giving birth to her son and that she had been taking medication."

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006209090320


Putnam authorities: Woman killed son and herself

By LISE FISHER

Sun staff writer

September 09. 2006 6:01AM

Investigators called the death of a mother and her 5-year-old son, discovered this week inside their Interlachen Estates home, a murder-suicide.

Anne E. Kuether, 43, shot her son, Steven, and then killed herself, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office reported Friday.

A worried neighbor alerted deputies Wednesday that she had not seen the pair for several days. Officers discovered their bodies in their mobile home at 610 Kennedy Ave. that morning.

Robert Gage, 47, of Palm Bay, Anne Kuether's first ex-husband, but not the father of the boy, said authorities contacted him soon after the bodies were located.

"They found a derringer on the floor," Gage said.

The boy had been shot and then Anne Kuether apparently turned the gun on herself, shooting herself in the head, he said.

"I talked to Anne about a week and a half ago. She sounded fine," Gage said.

He said he tried calling again a few days ago but got no answer.

Deputies believe Anne Kuether and her son died sometime between 9 p.m. on Aug. 30 and 7 a.m. the next day, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Gage said he and Anne Kuether had been together about 11 years. Married for seven years, they moved to Florida about 20 years ago. They ended up divorcing in the mid-1980s but had remained in touch.

Anne Kuether had claimed people were harassing her in Palm Bay, located in Brevard County in Central Florida, Gage said. She later sold her home there and used the money to buy the mobile home in Putnam County a few months ago.

Neighbors in Interlachen Estates said Anne Kuether had also complained to them that she was being harassed by an ex-husband or boyfriend. She installed a fence and an alarm system at the residence.

Investigators did not offer an explanation Friday for the deaths.

But Gage said his ex-wife had been going through postpartum depression after giving birth to her son and that she had been taking medication.

Speaking to The Sun, a telephone technician who had been inside Anne Kuether's home after she moved in described her as paranoid. When he came to install phone service, she was afraid someone would overhear him giving her the home's new phone number. He later returned to the home because there was a problem with the phone service and found she had taped and glued shut the phone box because she was afraid someone would tap into the line.

But, Gage said, "I never saw this coming. I would have alerted somebody and her family would have done something," if he had, he said.

Services for the mother and son will be held in Illinois, where her family lives, he said.

Lise Fisher can be reached at (352) 374-5092 or fisherl@gvillesun.com.