Deaths of two reported chain saw victims ruled murder-suicide

    The deaths of a Philadelphia-area husband and wife found with gaping wounds that their son said were caused by a chain saw have been ruled a murder-suicide.

    Montgomery County Coroner Walter Hofman said Wednesday that 41-year-old Nicole Peppelman was killed and 48-year-old Christopher Peppelman took his own life.

    Police in Lower Moreland Township had said the couple’s son reported finding his parents unresponsive, “with lacerations from a chain saw,” when he got home Tuesday.

    Dr. Walter Hofman said both bled to death due to “gaping sharp-force injuries” to the abdomen and in the husband’s case, also to the right thigh.

    Nicole Peppelman also was choked and stabbed.

    Hofman declined to say what caused the deep cutting wounds. But authorities said earlier that a chain saw was recovered from the house.

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