A Deer Park woman was found dead in a burned-up study Sunday evening, shortly after her live-in boyfriend ran out of the house to a neighbor's home, complaining of a head injury, Suffolk Police said.
Police did not identify the couple. Neighbors said they had been living together on Reed Drive for many years but lately had been having relationship problems.
The man was being treated at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center for a head injury "from a blunt object," said Det. Sgt. Thomas Groneman. Police recovered a hammer at the scene and took it as evidence, he said.
Someone at a neighbor's house called 911 at 6:14 p.m. after the injured man ran from his house, police said. The couple's dispute was loud enough for neighbors to hear.
"I just heard yelling and then I heard the cops and ambulance arriving," said Diana Breun, 28, who lives nearby.
When police arrived, they found the dead woman in a home office area and the "remnants of a fire that seemed to have put itself out," Groneman said. An autopsy will be conducted to determine her cause of death, police said.
Police released few details Sunday night as they gathered information from neighbors and relatives. Police planned to interview the boyfriend at the hospital, Groneman said.
Groneman said the house was "an active crime scene."
Neighbors said the woman was about 50 and had lived with the man for several years. She was planning to move out soon, one neighbor said.
"She was going to leave him," said the neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Neighbors said the man worked in the aviation industry, while the woman worked for the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Hauppauge. She had two grown children and a small dog that she doted on.
The couple was known for holding a Fourth of July barbecue every year in their spacious backyard with an in-ground swimming pool.
Neighbors said the couple was peaceful. They were surprised to see police cars Sunday night at the two-story wood-frame home at the end of a cul-de-sac. Police said they could not provide the number of 911 calls made from the house in the past.