Libby Deaths Ruled a Murder-Suicide

By Beacon Staff

LIBBY (AP) – It appears the wife in a Libby couple dead from an apparent murder-suicide fired the gun that wounded them fatally, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department concluded.

“It’s really not much of a whodunit,” said Lt. Detective Jim Sweet. “The evidence is pretty clear-cut. We’re confident that this was a murder-suicide, and he is the victim and she is the suspect.”

Robert Plough, 49, was found dead at the Montana Department of Transportation shop where he worked. Authorities went to the shop on U.S. 2, about three miles south of Libby, early Saturday after Plough failed to join friends as planned.

Sweet suspects that Louise Plough, 54, drove to the shop sometime before midnight on Friday and confronted her estranged husband.

He said three rounds from Mrs. Plough’s .38-caliber revolver were fired at her husband, who was struck twice before she turned the gun on herself. Both bodies were found just inside the doorway to the shop, Sweet said.

The bodies were sent to the state crime laboratory, for findings about the cause of death. The lab report is unlikely to contain surprises, Sweet said.

“This looks like a very straightforward domestic situation, a murder-suicide scenario,” he said.