2007_12_wedding.jpgAs authorities investigate the murder of Fire Marshal Douglas Mercereau, found in his Staten Island home with three bullets in his head Sunday morning, his wife Janet Redmond-Mercereau as a suspect, though the police have declined to officially name anyone as a suspect. The couple had been having marriage problems - the Post describes her as being "estranged," though living in the same house.

Redmond-Mercereau, a teacher at Tottenville High Scool, called 911 around 8:30AM, saying, "Oh my God! My husband was shot!" But by the time police arrived, Mercereau's wounds were dried and blood was found under Redmond-Mercereau's fingernails. According to the Staten Island Advance, sources think Redmond-Mercereau shot her sleeping husband around 6AM, "wiped the weapon clean of prints, removed her clothes and threw them in the washing machine and took 'several showers' to get rid of any incriminating gunpowder residue," before calling 911. And their two young daughters were sleeping in another room during the incident.

One hypothesis why Redmond-Mercereau could have snapped is that Mercereau apparently teased her about her weight. Sources say "They were always fighting about her weight. It had been going on for years," and describe the wife as "hefty" and a "large woman." Plus Redmond-Mercereau hired a lawyer an hour after calling 911. Another interesting fact: Earlier in their marriage, Mercereau had taken his wife to a shooting range to teach her how to fire a gun.

While there were no signs of forced entry, Redmond-Mercereau's lawyer Mario Gallucci says that a key to the front gate was missing and there were footprints in the snow. He said his client is innocent and pointed out that Mercereau's job as a fire marshal, "investigating crimes," could have created enemies. Mallucci adds that Redmond-Mercereau was helping plan her husband's funeral.