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NEWPORT, N.C. (WNCT) – The Carteret County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting that happened in a vehicle on Sam Hatcher Road and Nine Mile Road in Newport.

Deputies were called to do a welfare check at a home on 563 Gales Creek Road in Newport shortly after 5 a.m. on Friday.

When deputies arrived, they did not find anyone in the home

A short time later, deputies found a vehicle belonging to the homeowner parked on Sam Hatcher Road and Nine Mile Road.

Detectives said that 55-year-old Mark Andrew Muench and his 79-year-old mother, Catherine Howard Muench, were found inside the vehicle with gunshot wounds to the head.

Both were pronounced deceased at the scene.

“The driver of the vehicle was in possession of a handgun and a suicide note with an identification card that was attached to his chest,” said Detective Sgt. Greg Mason.

A preliminary investigation has revealed the act was a pre-planned murder-suicide, and Catherine was a willing participant, deputies said.

The scene indicated that Mark shot his mother as she sat in the passenger seat and then turned the gun on himself.

The investigation is ongoing.