(KEEGO HARBOR, Mich.) — Autopsies show a suburban Detroit woman fatally shot her husband, son and daughter before killing herself. ...
martedì 6 giugno 2017
American Carnage: Mother, 2 children found dead in burning home
A mother and her two children were found dead with gunshot wounds inside a burning Strasburg Township home early Tuesday, officials said.
Carola Arnau, 40, was found dead in a bedroom along with her 4-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter in the family’s home at 1433 Village Road, District Attorney Craig Stedman said at a late afternoon press conference. The names of the children were not released by authorities Tuesday.
Stedman said police recovered a handgun at the scene that Carola Arnau had purchased legally, along with ammunition, on Monday.
"We have a gun on her and gunshot wounds to three individuals ... all indications would be that was the gun (that killed all three)," Stedman said, but added that autopsies are needed to be sure. Autopsies will be performed Wednesday at 8 a.m.
He said investigators did not find a suicide note.
Stedman said Mrs.Arnau and her husband, Miguel, had been going through a "bitter" divorce and said things had "escalated" in recent days, adding that police had been called. He couldn't specifically say if officers had responded to the home.
The district attorney acknowledged that in situations such as this, investigators first look at the husband but said they determined that Mr. Arnau was at work since 10 p.m. Monday and would not have been present for the events that took place early Tuesday. He returned home after being notified of the fire.
He said Mr. Arnau, who had been living in a detached garage on the property, has been cooperative and said the day has been "horrific" for him.
Stedman said there is no indication Mr. Arnau has done “anything criminal at any point in time leading up to this.”
The fire struck the property in two places, a detached garage and one room of the house, Stoltzfus said. From the street, the garage was heavily damaged and still smoking. Slight smoke damage was visible on the front of the home, a yellow rancher.
At the press conference, Stedman said the fires were intentionally set.
Neighbor called 911
Lisa Yoder, 20, lives across the street with her brother and her grandfather, Richard Rhoads.
She said they were awakened at approximately 2:45 a.m. by a motorist who stopped after seeing the house on fire.
"He knocked on our door, yelling 'call 911, call 911.'"
Yoder said she called from her cell phone and so did the motorist. She said the first fire truck was on the scene within minutes.
"Our neighbor came out of her house and was screaming, 'There are kids inside, the mom is inside.' She was just yelling to everyone from across the street," Yoder said.
Yoder saw firefighters enter the house through the front door.
"Smoke came pouring out and, by that time, the house was in high flames," said Yoder who was watching, along with her neighbor. "It took them about 15 to 20 minutes to put the fire out completely. But we were very concerned, because they were in the house and they weren't bringing anyone out. We kept waiting for them to bring the kids out. That was my first thought, 'Why aren't they bringing anyone out?'"
A man, who Yoder said was the husband and father of the woman and kids in the house, arrived at the scene in his work uniform and tried to run into the house but was restrained by police on the scene.
"He was freaking out and screaming about his wife and kids in there, but they wouldn't let him go near it," Yoder said.
She said all the first responders "were doing everything they could."
Rhoads said he only met the family once or twice since they lived across the street for about three years.
"The father, the man of the family, brought over some mail that was left in his mailbox that was ours," said Rhoads. "I talked to him briefly. They were very friendly but we didn't know them well."
Ron Rannels, 70, also lives on Village Road, and described the family as "very nice."
“I’ll tell you it’s really tough. They were so nice. She was very nice. Everybody got along with them,” Rannels said.
He recalled seeing the dad pulling the two kids down the street in a wagon, stopping by his house to pick flowers for their mother.
“There are very difficult days and this is certainly one of them,” Stedman said solemnly.
He said it makes you think about your own family as well as the first responders who deal with such events.
“It’s so senseless,” the district attorney continued. “I am so tired of so many absolutely senseless things. And whatever disputes you have in your life and whatever issues you’ve got, when you see and hear news about children being murdered — and there’s no question they were murdered — then it takes it to a different level.”
Stedman said the only small comfort he can offer is that it appears the children would not have known what was happening.
“It appears they were shot in their sleep and there does not appear to be any struggle whatsoever.”
Stedman said investigators are interested in learning more about Mrs. Arnau’s mental status, particularly just prior to Tuesday morning. They would also like to hear from anyone who was aware that she had purchased a gun.
Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 717-299-7650.