A missionary couple from York County, Pennsylvania, were found dead at their home along with their 26-year-old daughter in what local police say is the result of a tragic suicide pact triggered by their daughter’s struggle with mental illness.
Investigators said mental illness also likely played a role in the parents’ decision to die with their daughter.
The couple, James A. Daub, 62, Deborah A. Daub, 59, and their daughter, Morgan E. Daub, 26, were found dead around 11:15 a.m. in their backyard in West Manchester Township, police told PennLive. A neighbor reportedly called 911 after discovering their bodies.
The lead detective in the case, Timothy Fink, told York Dispatch in a statement that each member of the family left behind notes in their own handwriting explaining why they chose to die.
Documents "detailed that Morgan had told her mother that she was having auditory hallucinations which were not getting any better."
After hearing about her daughter’s desire to die, Deborah and her husband decided they could not live without her.
"Deborah wrote that she didn’t want her daughter to pass on alone, so she had decided to end her life with her," Fink said. "The letter written by James indicated that they had told him their plan, and he decided that he didn’t want to live without them."
Fink further explained that Morgan assisted her parents in pulling the trigger of the guns used in their deaths before taking her own life. Investigators said they all died of gunshot to the head.
"The note from James Daub indicated that he wished to commit suicide but there were only two guns and he was too shaky to pull the trigger, so Deborah pulled the trigger for him," Fink said. "The note from Deborah stated that she was unable to pull the trigger, so her daughter pulled the trigger — but it should still be considered a suicide."
In a separate PennLive report, one neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said the family had grown isolated over the years and withdrew altogether from the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The saddest thing is something tragic happened and nobody knows them,” the neighbor said.
Others, like Mike Landis, say the family who have lived in the quiet middle-class neighborhood since 2000, were once much more outgoing and even hosted three Halloween parties for the neighborhood.
Landis, who lives across the avenue from the Daub family’s home, said the traveling missionaries helped him and his son with spiritual counseling as their family weathered a health crisis years ago.
“We might have been in their house once or twice over the years,” Landis told PennLive. “We were doing a lot of praying with them.”
Neighbors said Morgan was homeschooled for much of her life, learned to drive late and never had a boyfriend.
Morgan also had a YouTube channel and managed to post three videos that indicated a possible disconnect from reality.
On Tuesday, the day before the killings, she posted a 6-second video featuring a single frame with the statement: “FOLLOW ME AS I FOLLOW CHRIST!!!”
In November, after the Queen of England died, she uploaded an 8-minute video in which she spoke to viewers directly, telling them she was formally abdicating the throne of England.
Two months before that in September, she uploaded a 29-minute video in which she claimed she and her family were suffering human rights abuses at the hands of a “shadow administration” being run by former President Donald Trump with the backing of his new spiritual advisory board.
“There is more TRUTH in my 30 minutes of unscripted rambling than most of you have heard in the last 30 days. As of yet, I cannot fill in any more details or release any evidence of my truthful claims or explain what started all of this. I stated that my situation is like being forced/conscripted into the U.S. military. It’s actually more like slavery,” Morgan said.
“My family and I are law-abiding American citizens, yet we are being denied fundamental HUMAN RIGHTS. Multiple basic constitutional rights and freedoms have been and are currently being infringed. We are daily enduring all manner of harassment and illegal, unconstitutional surveillance. The majority of this is, shall we say, most likely being executed by Donald Trump’s military and intel agencies,” she alleged.
“Since Trump is behind the scenes running a shadow administration as our lawful, rightful president, we have absolutely NO RECOURSE to fight these heinous actions. It would be an exercise in futility to address this with any government entity,” she added. “I am hoping that shedding a little light on the subject will make them back off somewhat. If not, at least I have finally broken radio silence on this.”
Morgan also claimed the nation was also “under massive assault” from a shadow administration being run by former President Barack Obama as well.
“I am a patriot, and I am an indescribable threat to the entire establishment, which happens to now include Donald Trump,” she said. “You will find out why I am such a threat soon enough. For now, let’s just say that all of these people, shall we say, apparently have a lot of evil crimes to hide, and I am the news now.”
On Feb. 1, 2023, this article originally reported that Morgan E. Daub attended Messiah College (now Messiah University) in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. However, while Daub applied to the institution in 2015 and was accepted, she never enrolled at the university.