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Police ID elderly couple in murder, attempted suicide

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Investigators believe an elderly Lawrenceville man strangled his wife before trying but failing to take his own life this week, police said Tuesday.

Police identified the couple as Alex Blatt, 70, and wife, Eva, 62. Alex was hospitalized in critical condition Monday afternoon and remained in hospital care Tuesday, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter.

Investigators believe Alex attempted suicide after killing his wife in their 2674 Summerfield Way home, but details on his injuries were not available Tuesday, Ritter said.

Investigators are trying to determine a motive.

Alex had not been charged with any crime Tuesday afternoon. Ritter said records show no history of police responding to the couple's home, tucked in the Sycamore Crossing subdivision off Bethesda School Road.

Officers responded to the Blatt's home about 4:30 p.m. Monday for a welfare check after the couple had missed an appointment. When police saw both vehicles in the garage, they entered the home, finding Eva's body and Alex "in immediate distress," Ritter said.

The Blatt's next-door neighbor, a butcher named Si Le, said the couple had moved in about five years ago and kept mostly to themselves but were polite. He said Alex was retired but often spoke about business dealings.

"They're really nice," Le said.

Yellow cordoning tape still surrounded the Blatt's yard Tuesday, which led to a bank of neatly trimmed hedges and the couple's light-gray ranch. Le described the neighborhood as quiet with a large contingent of retirees.