106-year-old woman, young caretaker die in apparent suicide pact

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ?” A 106-year-old widow and her much younger caretaker died together in an apparent suicide pact at the home they shared, police said.

The bodies of Helen Godet and her friend and caretaker of nine years, David Lund, were found Friday along with suicide notes indicating that Lund strangled the woman after she decided she could not take her own life, Inspector Dennis Maffei said Tuesday.

Lund, who was in his early 30s, then swallowed a fatal dose of antifreeze, authorities said. The notes were dated Dec. 27.

"There are indications that it was going to be a double suicide, but she couldn’t force herself to drink the poison, so he killed her and then drank the poison," Maffei said.

Both notes, which were taped to the closed door of a bedroom where the bodies were discovered, were in Lund’s handwriting and indicated "that their time had come," Maffei said. Godet apparently signed one note.

However, police were investigating the case as a murder-suicide, he said, adding that a motive was not immediately known.

"Did she know what she was signing at 106 years old? I don’t know," Maffei said. "She was definitely killed at the hands of another, so we have to assume it was a murder."

Witnesses told homicide detectives that Godet – whose husband died in 1970 and who never had children – and Lund had been inseparable after meeting nine years ago. Lund slept on the sofa in Godet’s house.

"I was told they had a different kind of relationship – platonic, but affectionate," Maffei said.