SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An eye surgeon and his wife were found shot to death yesterday, hours before they were scheduled to surrender to authorities on charges of performing unnecessary surgeries on patients, including children, and bilking money from health insurers.

The bodies of Dr. Philip Gabriele, 44, and his wife Marcella, 43, both of Granger, were found inside his Gabriele Eye Institute in Elkhart by police investigating a possible suicide attempt, Elkhart police spokesman Lt. Ed Windbigler said.

Philip Gabriele committed suicide, Windbigler said. Authorities were trying to determine who shot Marcella Gabriele.

No one else was in the office, which was not scheduled to be open yesterday.

Susan Manuszak, a friend of the couple, told reporters she received a message on her voice mail from Philip Gabriele saying he and his wife "couldn't take the pain." The message said the couple could be found in Elkhart, she said. *