A 32-year-old immigrant from Belarus named Vera Michaelson lay lifeless in her L.A. driveway last night, her dead husband Alex Michaelson, 39, at her side -- and a pistol between them.
The couple had two children, ages 5 and 7, who were staying with relatives in the O.C.
NBC4 reports that Alex put two bullets in his wife's head before turning the gun on himself at their 15045 Sherview Place home in the Sherman Oaks hills. LAPD investigators have found no note so far, but are interviewing family members to determine a possible motive for the murder-suicide. One clue:
Witnesses tell NBC that Alex left work abruptly yesterday, saying he had to take care of an "emergency" situation. When a co-worker came by his Tarzana home around 5 p.m. to make sure he was OK, the couple was already lying dead in the driveway.
Vera and Alex may have been dead since 11 a.m. that morning, when a neighbor said she heard gunshots. From the report:
The NBC4 LA news helicopter revealed a nicely clad man and well dressed woman lying dead in pools of blood in the driveway to a gated Sherview Place home. It appeared a pistol was lying on the ground between the man and woman.
According to Vera's Facebook profile, she recently graduated from Nova Southeastern University's dental school. Before that, it appears she also attended CSU Northridge and a tech college in her home country. Her favorite quotations are "My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely" and "The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes."
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Alex is an immigrant as well, originally named Alexandre D. Mihelson; his listing on Health Grades indicates he speaks Russian. He was trained in Moscow and Nevada. Via the South Valley Hospice website:
Dr. Michaelson's added qualifications are pain management, geriatrics and from the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
In 2010, Dr. Michaelson was named Hospice Physician for South Valley Internal Medicine. He gained end-of-life experience from his practice as a Primary Care Medical Director at South Valley Internal Medicine and at several area rehabilitation facilities.
The Michaelsons just moved homes in December 2008 -- choosing a nice, family-sized $300,000 house in the gated Valley community. Update: A reader tells us that's not their home; instead, she says they lived in this $1.5 million five-bedroom at the end of the street.