By Marion V. Ali
The shocking homicide/suicide which resulted in the death of Michael “Mike” Estell, 54, and his common-law-wife, Colleen Michelle Sharp, 30, rocked the Ladyville community on Sunday April 18 morning.
An investigation and autopsy on the bodies has certified that Estell used his licensed .380 pistol to shoot Coleen in the right side of her forehead and then shot himself in the right temple.
The homicide/suicide was the result of a jealous fit which started at their home beside the Belikin factory on the old airport road in Ladyville at around 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Gunpowder residue was found on Estell’s right hand.
According to evidence found in the bathroom, which is on the second level of the three-flat house they shared, it appeared that the two had a physical fight before Estell pulled the trigger. Police found a thick gold chain he was wearing on the floor, as was a ball of Sharp’s hair. Estell’s gun was found between their bodies.
A relative who grew concerned when she couldn’t reach the couple after several hours of attempts on Sunday, decided to visit the residence and observed the couple’s two vehicles parked in the yard. The lights in the house were still turned on from the night before and more attempts to reach them by phone were futile. Relatives who were alerted arrived around 7:00 p.m., broke down the door to the residence and made the discovery.
The employees on the ground floor of the residence, which housed Mark’s Bar, said they didn’t hear anything unusual on the upper flat. They recall Estell arriving home at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, leaving the gate open; Sharp arrived about 15 minutes later.
Residents of the area have described the incident as “shocking” because the couple did not display any signs of turmoil in public prior to that night. But others close to the couple have said there were rocky moments between them.
The couple had been together for around 12 years and had a daughter, age 10, who was with a relative that night. From all accounts, the pair was fiercely protective of and committed to their child. Estell, who had lived in the US for over a decade before he met Sharp, has other children from previous relationships.