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An elderly Washington City man was arrested Wednesday morning after a family member found the man's wife dead in the couple's home.

Washington City Police Chief Jim Keith said David K. Benson, 76, was booked into Washington County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. He was being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

Officers responding to a 911 call at 8:46 a.m. found the victim — identified by neighbors as Madelin Benson — dead inside the home near 2200 Alamosa Drive in the southwestern Utah's community's Pine View Estates subdivision.

Keith would not immediately confirm the victim's identity or age, but did say she was Benson's wife. The chief said it appeared the woman had been struck with a "blunt object," but he would not further discuss the nature of her fatal injuries.

In his jail booking photo, Benson appears to have a superficial injury to his head, but police would not say how he sustained it.

Shelly Kirton, a friend, said the slaying stunned her close-knit neighborhood.

"I was shocked when I got the call at work and I came home as soon as I could to be with our neighbors," Kirton said.

She said that David Benson had recently seemed depressed, but no one thought there was anything seriously amiss.

"They are absolutely wonderful people, most kind and gentle," Kirton said. "He adored her. They went on walks every day and held hands. They taught a home and family class at our [LDS] church."