TRAVERSE CITY — Two wedding rings, two cellphones and two notes count among the few things Kaitlyn and Tyler Cole left behind.
Police found the couple’s bodies in a barricaded room at Hotel Indigo on June 30, days after they told family members they were leaving on a camping trip.
Police initially attributed their deaths by gunshot wounds to Tyler and announced the case closed as a murder-suicide in early July.
But autopsy reports told a different story — pathologists were unable to determine if 26-year-old Kaitlyn was shot by her 33-year-old husband or pulled the trigger herself.
And supplemental police reports cited evidence, including notes, that made it clear the Coles “had mutual interest in ending their lives” in a “wife-husband suicide pact.”
The documents were obtained via a Record-Eagle Freedom of Information Act request.
“Unfortunately we can’t talk to either one of these people,” said Traverse City Police Department Lt. Erich Bohrer. “It didn’t appear that there was any resistance, things that would lead us to believe it was anything other than it was.”
Officers responded to Hotel Indigo at staff’s request after the couple failed to appear hours past checkout — the Coles paid $1,187 cash for their three-night stay.
Knocks at the room’s door went unanswered. Phone calls only met voicemail.
Traverse City firefighters helped police force their way through a barricade and the door’s deadbolt, according to police reports.
They found the couple in bed.
Three guns were recovered from the scene — one, from Tyler’s hand.
Tyler and Kaitlyn wed in 2017 but were together for nearly a decade, first dating when Kaitlyn was still in high school at Bear Lake. She graduated from Northwestern Michigan College and became a pastry chef, while Tyler worked as a digital cartographer.
They lived for a stint in Colorado, returning to Michigan about a month before their deaths to live with Tyler’s parents.
Members of both Tyler and Kaitlyn’s families told police neither had history of suicide attempts or mental illness, and Tyler’s parents even spoke in investigation interviews of their son’s ongoing fitness kick and routine morning runs.
Kaitlyn’s social media pages show off pictures of the smiling couple and several results of the 26-year-old’s baking projects.
The case has since been closed, Bohrer said.
“It is, at this point, what it is,” he said. “We don’t have any evidence to suggest anything other than what we came across that day.”