Update: Marcella Gabriele death ruled a homicide

The Elkhart Police Department now confirms that the two bodies found Monday morning at the Gabriele Eye Institute in the 2200-block of Cassopolis Street in Elkhart are Dr. Philip Gabriele, 44, and his wife Marcella, 43.

Monday was the day the Gabrieles were supposed to turn themselves in to law enforcement, appear in court, and start answering to the health care fraud charges they face.

At about the same time they were due to surrender, the Gabrieles instead went to their office in Elkhart, where their lives ended abruptly.

"As far as I'm concerned, the federal prosecutor took my two best friends," said Susan Manuszak, a family friend of the Gabrieles. "This was not a prosecution, this was a persecution. If anybody read that indictment they would know."

Manuszak says the indictment dealt with the complaints of 15 patients, a small fraction of the 13,000 he has treated.

Manuszak went to the Gabriele home in Granger Monday morning and found a suicide note. She called police and met them at the Gabriele Eye Institute Office in Elkhart. "I went to walk in the front door with the police, we heard a shot fired -- that was Dr. Phil Gabriele taking his life. Marcy was already gone."

When asked what the suicide note said, Manuszak explained, "They basically hung on as long as they could, they apologized for going, but that's all they could do, I just pray they're in heaven and they're not suffering anymore."

Friends and employees of the Gabrieles had planned on going to court today to support the couple. In a written statement issued last Friday, the Gabrieles indicated that they would fight the charges. Their actions today indicated otherwise.

"Many people don't know it, but both of them had a major heart condition and they were hanging on by a thread," said Manuszak. "There's only so much a person could take."

Police revealed Monday night that an autopsy shows Philip Gabriele died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

Additionally, police spokesman Ed Winbigler told us Monday evening that investigators recovered a single handgun at the scene.

An autopsy preformed Tuesday for Marcella Gabriele to determine exactly how she died, has revealed some new information.

We have learned that Marcella Gabriele's death was ruled a homicide.

Autopsy results show that Marcella died from multiple gunshot wounds. However, Elkhart police have still not determined who shot her.

The Gabrieles were recently indicted on criminal charges. The 19-page indictment states that the doctor falsely and fraudulently diagnosed cataracts in patients and performed unnecessary cataract surgeries. You can read about it by clicking here.

The federal investigation into Philip and Marcella Gabriele and the Gabriele Eye Institute had gone on for more than two years.

It began to unfold in May 2007 when federal agents raided the Gabrieles' Granger home and the Gabriele Eye Institute offices in South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart.

The feds investigated quietly for more than two years until a grand jury indicted the Gabrieles on health care fraud charges last Friday.


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