Stacy Stearns, 49, was suffering from stomach cancer. Steven Alton Stearns, 45 was battling an advanced form of lung cancer.
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of suicide that some readers may find distressing
A couple battling cancer took their own lives as well as the lives of both their dogs in a murder-suicide. Stacy Stearns, 49, was suffering from stomach cancer, and her husband Steven Alton Stearns, 45 was battling an advanced form of lung cancer. The couple from Minnesota was not able to have any biological children and adopted two dogs, Baby and Goliath, whom they called their own. All four bodies were found in the couple's rural home on Tuesday morning, Sept. 27, reports In Forum. According to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, Stacy's death was ruled a homicide and Steven's death as suicide. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the deceased," Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander said, according to Detroit Lakes Tribune.
The pair had just celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary on September 21. Their joint Facebook page featured happy memories of the couple, dancing together, relaxing on a boat, and spending time with their pooches. Tammy Lawrence, who camped with the couple at the Shell Lake Resort, told In Forum that the two of them were "lovable people; they are big and lovable, and when they hug you, you felt warm and secure." They said they loved each other "all the time, always giving each other a kiss or a pat on the rear, always loving each other," Lawrence said.
Just before their deaths, the pair posted a message on their Facebook page, which read: "To our loved ones. We chose to leave this world as we lived in it. In love and together. Our only regret is the sorrow to our loved ones. Remember the laughter and happiness We love you. Goodbye." A short will was also included in the post. According to Lawrence, it was posted one minute before the couple called 911. "He's not a murderer; this was done out of love. It's what they both wanted. They wanted to go together with their dogs," she said. One of their dogs Goliath reportedly also had his own health issues, and could no longer walk.
Steven had previously confided in Lawrence about their plans to end their lives. "He made me promise not to say anything to anybody," she told the Forum. "Stacy did not want him to tell me, but he said I can't look in your eyes and lie to you anymore, and somebody has to be able to tell people why we are going to do what we were going to do." Loved ones of the couple are asking others to remember the couple the way they lived life. Not how they died. "Steve's words: 'We've had a good life, we've had a good run,' and they were in love, and they will love each other through eternity," Lawrence said.
If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
Cover Image Source: Facebook | SteveStacy Stearns