Neighbors stunned by Fulkerson Park couple’s murder-suicide

Published 7:02 pm Monday, October 20, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Marlene Hunsberger talked to her neighbor, Earl Baden, a couple of weeks ago.
It came as a shock Saturday when she learned the 72-year-old had apparently shot and killed his wife, 72-year-old Marcella, on Friday.
On Saturday, around 10:25 a.m., Baden apparently called 9-1-1 to inform dispatchers of what he had done.
After making the emergency phone call, it appears Baden sustained a self-inflicted gunshot to his head that eventually caused his death, according to the Michigan State Police Niles Post 53.
The incident occurred in the Badens' home in the Fulkerson Park subdivision of Niles Township. Later in the day on Saturday, Baden died of the self-inflicted gunshot after having been in critical condition at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind.
But Hunsberger, who lives three doors down from where the Badens lived, wasn't the only neighbor to react when they found out what happened.
Hunsberger, who often talked to the Badens, a couple who had been married for 50 years, said they didn't seem like "that kind of couple."
After retiring from Bayer's Elkhart, Ind. facility, Hunsberger said Baden took care of his wife, who recently returned from a rehabilitation center after having had one of her legs amputated in June.
Hunsberger said Baden told her that he looked forward to having his wife at home because it would reduce his travels back and forth to where his wife was being taken care of.
Hunsberger said Baden had even built a solarium in the back of the couple's house where Marcella, who was in a wheelchair after the amputation and was apparently in poor health, could sit and watch the flowers and the birds.
Hunsberger said most people in the neighborhood knew Baden, who came and left frequently because of the many visits he made to his wife.