Police are waiting for autopsy results to determine the cause of death for two people involved in an apparent murder-suicide in Ottawa's east end.

Ottawa police found the bodies of high school sweethearts Alicia Bateman and Ryan Sawchuk shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday when they were called to Bateman's home at 302 Cote Royale Cres., located just behind Place D'Orleans shopping mall.

Bateman and Sawchuk, both 28 years old and originally from Calgary, Alta., were set to get married this fall.

The couple reportedly came to Ottawa to start a new life together. But while Bateman found a job with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Sawchuk couldn't find work and had to return to Calgary.

There are unconfirmed reports the couple was having problems and was on the verge of calling off their engagement.

Sawchuk's family told reporters he couldn't live without her and refused to let her go. It is believed Sawchuk booked a last-minute flight to Ottawa on Saturday -- the same night the couple was found dead in Bateman's home.

Neighbours in shock

Residents of the quiet east-end neighbourood say they're in shock following the grisly weekend discovery.

"I never, never would have thought anything like that (would happen) here," said one area resident.

"(I feel) surprised and maybe a bit of shock but basically surprised," neighbour Douglas Ryan told CTV Ottawa.

When love turns tragic

The circumstances that are emerging in the deaths of the young couple are a reminder of what can happen when love turns tragic.

"They feel very depressed and they feel like life is terrible and death actually seems like an escape," Ottawa psychologist and author Sue Johnson told CTV Ottawa, referring to couples involved in alleged murder-suicides.

"If people feel the relationship is threatened and they feel like the person they love most in the world is about to leave them or is deliberately hurting them, they lose control or they start to feel like they want to punish the other person," she said.

Now, just months before a planned wedding celebration, the Bateman and Sawchuk families are planning funerals.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Aliya Jiwan