Family Shocked by Franklin County Murder Suicide

Danville, VA - Officials have released new details in the apparent murder suicide involving a former Danville surgeon and his wife.

Karen and Kim Yee were found in their car in Penhook Tuesday with gunshot wounds. Investigators say this story actually started about 24 hours before their bodies were found.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says they believe the two got into an altercation on Monday at a dumpster site on Museville Road in Pittsylvania County. They believe one of the two was shot at that scene, and no one else was involved. Investigators say their personal belongings, broken glass, and red stains were found there. But their bodies were found in their car the next day on Ramsey Memorial Drive in Penhook.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office can't say yet who shot whom. But they do say the handgun was found in Kim Yee's lap and he was in the driver seat. They also say he was believed to have been shot once, while she was shot three times. Her family and friends are still in shock.

"It's a mystery. It really is," said Sam Swanson Jr., Karen Yee's father.

From an outsider's perspective, Karen and Kim Yee's marriage seemed normal, even happy. That's why even Karen's father says he didn't see this coming.

"They were very devoted to each other and love each other very much as far as I'm concerned," said Swanson.

No one may really know what happened between Karen and Kim earlier this week. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office found their bodies in their car just miles away from their Penhook home. Both with gunshot wounds, in a case investigators describe as an apparent murder suicide.

"How can you explain it? There is no way to explain it. You don't know the motive you don't know why," said Swanson.

Swanson describes his daughter as passionate, loving her husband, the Lord, and animals. She served on the Danville Humane Society's Board for years. She too can't understand why this happened.

"We are in shock. Didn't sleep last night much because I just couldn't believe it," said Paulette Dean, executive director of Danville Humane Society.

And when Karen battled cancer a decade ago, Swanson says their marriage remained strong, as a surgeon, he even monitored her treatment.

"He took off six months to try to get her cancer free and from my knowledge she's still cancer free," said Swanson.

Through nearly two decades of marriage, everyone knew they would be together until the day they die, just no one thought it would end like this.

"No resentment. I have no reason to be resentful at this point other than why," said Swanson.

Swanson says Kim was from Michigan and he always got along well with his son-in-law. Meanwhile, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office says they will know more about what happened after they get the autopsy back.