Scott DeSmit/Daily NewsOrleans County sheriff’s investigators are seen this morning at the scene of an apparent murder-suicide on North Gravel Road in Ridgeway.

RIDGEWAY - Police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide at a house on North Gravel Road.

Orleans County Sheriff Christopher Bourke said his deputies were called to 3153 North Gravel Rd. (Route 63) at 6:37 a.m. Thursday for a report of two apparently deceased people inside the house.

The sheriff identified the couple this afternoon as James Payne, 60, and Shari Payne, 56.

Bourke said the couple was found by their son.

“The son came home from work. He lives in another part of the property, like an in-law apartment,” Bourke said. “He checks on them every morning. He knocked on the door and didn’t get an answer.

“He looked through the window and saw his mother on the floor.”

Bourke said the son broke through a window to get into the house and found his father also dead.

Bourke said the initial investigation revealed an AK-47 rifle was used and, possibly, a knife.

“We’re not quite sure yet how this happened,” Bourke said. “We think possibly a knife was found and definitely a rifle.”

Numerous deputies, along with a state police forensic identification unit, converged on the scene and were expected to be there most of the day.

The house, a yellow, ranch-style house, sits on nearly three acres on the west side of North Gravel Road. Medina Veterinary Clinic is just north of the house.

A few neighbors stood outside watching as deputies went in and out of the house throughout the morning.

Bourke said he did not believe there had ever been any problems at the house.

“Not that I’m aware of,” he said. “The son was just as shocked as we were. This is just a tragic event. It’s very sad.”

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