Sister: Brother, wife distraught before deaths

By JIM SUHR | August 5, 2011 | 4:44 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The sister of a man who police say strangled his wife before being killed by a deputy says he spent weeks saying farewell to relatives while displaying erratic behavior involving a sword and biblical hallucinations with his spouse.

Belinda VanDommelen said Friday she believes her 48-year-old brother and his wife discussed ending their lives before they died July 26.

Bobby Curtis was fatally shot after a car chase by a southern Illinois sheriff's deputy authorities say he threatened with a sword. Investigators found his wife's body in the passenger seat.

Illinois State Police tell KFVS-TV that powder found in the car tested positive for the synthetic drug "bath salts." Toxicology tests are pending to determine whether the couple took the drug, which can cause agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia and delusions.