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Police say a Syracuse couple died in a murder-suicide Monday at their home.

Gary Lee Lucero, 41, and Jessica A. Lucero, 39, were found in a home near 900 South and 2100 West about 8 a.m. A relative had called police to report that she had looked in a window of the house and could see Gary Lucero's body on a chair, said Syracuse police Lt. Tracy Jensen.

Jensen would not confirm or deny reports that one of the Luceros' children was at home at the time of his parents' deaths. Jensen also would not disclose the suspected cause of the deaths, saying officers were waiting for an autopsy to confirm evidence at the scene. Investigators believe Gary Lucero killed his wife and then himself.

Neighbors and friends gathered at the home Monday to clean the house and mourn a couple they described as active parents and community members.

"They were wonderful people," said neighbor Lori Grotepas. "This is a shock to all of us."

The Luceros were behind many of the neighborhood's holiday parties, barbecues, Easter egg hunts and fundraisers, Grotepas said. Gary Lucero often cooked for neighborhood functions, and Jessica Lucero had "an infectious laugh," said friend Judy Shelby.

Friends said the couple leave behind three children, two of whom had grown and moved away. Friends did not know who would care for the youngest child, who lived at home, but noted that the couple's extended family lives close by.

Friends also had not heard of any problems in the Luceros' marriage or health, that might explain the sudden violence.

"They're an amazing family," Shelby said as she placed a memorial candle amidst a family of Jack-o'-lanterns on the porch. "This is something we don't have the answers to."

Gary and Jessica Lucero worked in the Civil Service at Hill Air Force Base.

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