Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Three children and two adults died on April 18, 2009, in what authorities believe is a murder-suicide inside a house in the first block of Washington Street, in Middletown, Maryland.
Members of the comunity built a beautiful large shrine on the house where the killings occurred. Colorful memorial ribbons were tied on poles throughout this otherwise bucolic town just outside of Frederick, Maryland, at the far outer rim of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Compiled from the Frederick News-Post and the Washington Post:
Christopher A. Wood, 34 is believed to have shot his wife, Francie Bilotti-Wood, 33 and their children. Mrs. Bilotti-Woods, Chandler, 5, Gavin, 4, and Fiona, 2, who were in their pajamas - had each been shot once, in the beds where they were found. Wood's body was on the floor of the couple's bedroom. Authorities said the victims also suffered "severe lacerations and cut wounds." A handgun and shotgun were found in the home.
Mr. Woods was deeply in debt, and it is believed to have been a motivating factor in the slaying.
Authorities said Chris Wood left five suicide notes in the house, one of which suggested that he had psychological problems and was taking medication. In at least one note, Wood apologized for what he did.
The Rev. Kevin Farmer, at nearby Holy Family Church, opened the memorial service by telling more than 400 somber parishioners that he had "no words" to describe the "unspeakable act" that Billotti-Wood, 33, and her three young children suffered at the hands of their husband and father. Deacon George Sisson's homily was largely devoted to the family. "We read about them in other places," he said of such events. "Now it's not other places. It's a couple blocks from this church."
Sheriff's deputies had never before been called to the family's house, & there was no known history of domestic violence.
As details of the couple's history emerged yesterday, a picture formed of a young family brimming with potential. Billotti-Wood's friends described her as having a "servant's heart," a talented, compassionate organizer with a résumé full of social service work and volunteerism.
Mr. Wood, who worked in railroad marketing and sales, seemed on a solid career path when the two married in Florida in 2003.
Some details from a police press conference:
-The two boys were found in their beds
-The mother & young girl were found together in the master bed
-The father was found on the floor at the foot of the master bed
-The father died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound; a shotgun was found close to his body
-The mother and children had all suffered traumatic cuts
-A mixed-breed dog was removed from the house unharmed
- Francie Wood’s father found the bodies this morning, upon visiting the house. He had not heard from the family in days.
-The Wood family had been living at the residence on Washington Street for four months.
Posted by Lloyd at 6:17 PM