Cornwall

UK woman shot dead by partner in Texas

House Image copyright Google
Image caption Tracey Lovell was found dead at Tom Bailey's home in Victoria, Texas, a year ago

A woman from Cornwall was shot dead by her partner before he turned the gun on himself, weeks after she moved to Texas to be with him, an inquest has heard.

Tracey Lovell, 44, from Hayle, met Tom Bailey, 60, online in 2018.

He visited her in Cornwall soon afterwards and in November that year she moved to live with him.

She was found on 9 January 2019 at Bailey's home in Victoria, Texas, covered in a blanket on a bed, with two gunshot wounds to the head.

A thyroid condition meant Mrs Lovell had difficulty controlling her weight, and she believed there may be a cure available in the US, the inquest in Truro heard.

Prison guard Bailey's body was found on the floor next to the bed with a single gunshot wound to the head.

'Life-changing opportunity'

A court in Texas ruled it to be a murder-suicide.

Det Con McDonnell from Devon and Cornwall Police told the hearing: "When Tracey found internet romance she thought this may be the life-changing opportunity she had been waiting for.

"Tragically it ended in the worst possible way."

He said Texas police had not been helpful answering questions.

Mrs Lovell was repatriated on 8 March and a memorial service was held.

The inquest heard one of her two sons took his own life in Penzance on 16 March, and her mother died of natural causes the same week.

Guy Davies, the assistant coroner for Cornwall, recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing.

"It has not been possible to establish reasoning or motive," he said.

"Why she was shot will remain unknown."

Mrs Lovell died between 4 and 9 January 2019 and the medical cause of death was established by the Travis County Medical Examiner as a gunshot to the head.

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