An elderly couple has been found dead at their semi-rural property in a suspected murder-suicide, with neighbours and friends remembering them as well-loved socialites.

Stephen, 74, and Sally Starling, 75, were living a seemingly dream retirement filled with extensive global travels and events where they entertained their neighbours.

But, one of their neighbours tragically discovered the pair’s bodies at their Darling Downs property, near Armadale to the southeast of Perth.

After police were called to the home at around 6.45pm on Monday, the peaceful street was transformed into a crime scene as they scoured the property for evidence.

Detectives and forensic police returned to the scene to continue their search on Tuesday.

Neighbour Maureen Parkes said she was woken up in the early hours on Tuesday morning by lights coming up and down the driveway.

“About 2am I got up, looked out the window and police cars were there … the whole of the driveway was floodlit, so I knew something was wrong,” she said.

“This is a quiet place … I knew something was different.

Fellow neighbour Pat Hogge was surprised when police first appeared.

“It’s worrying that we were just sitting on the patio and suddenly police cars were coming,” she said.

Forensic police continue to search the Darling Downs property. Image: 7NEWS

Ms Hogge remembered how the Starlings welcomed her into the neighbourhood when she first moved there eight years ago.

She said Sally’s “flamboyant, social” personality complemented the “quiet and intelligent” Stephen.

“They were very sociable and very welcoming,” Ms Hogge said.

“They have a yacht, a Jag, did a lot of travelling.

“Just gorgeous people.”

Mr Starling, the Grand Tourer Register Secretary of the WA Jaguar Club, also documented their travels on an online travel blog, where he combined his passions for travel writing and photography.

“Travel, writing and photography have been my passions since the 1970s when I boarded a train at a wet and windswept station in Blackpool, England, bound for a new life in sunny Perth, Australia,” his website reads.

Major Crime Division officers are treating the deaths as a murder-suicide as they continue to investigate the surrounding circumstances.

Though police have confirmed that no one else was involved, they have not revealed who carried out the killing.


This article first appeared on OverSixty.