Maryland Briefing

Maryland News Briefs

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Details Expected on Middletown Slayings

Authorities in Frederick County are expected to release more information today about why a Middletown man killed his wife and three young children and then turned the gun on himself. And funeral arrangements have been set for the family, found dead at home Saturday.

The Frederick County Sheriff's Office plans to provide results of autopsies conducted yesterday and Sunday, as well as details about the killings. Last week, Christopher A. Wood, 34, killed his wife, Francie Billotti-Wood, 33, and their three children, Chandler, 5, Gavin, 4, and Fiona, 2, before turning a gun on himself, authorities said.

Police have said previously that the two pajama-clad boys were found in the beds in their room and that their mother and sister were found in the master bedroom. Each had been severely cut and shot once with a handgun.

Wood was found at the foot of the bed in the master bedroom, apparently killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had left five suicide notes scattered about the house, with at least one saying that he was taking medication for psychological problems, authorities said.

Investigators were exploring whether financial problems or a recent move and job change might have been weighing on Wood's mind, authorities said.

Visitation is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Holy Family Catholic Community parish in Middletown. The funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, with interment to follow at Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery. The services are intended only for family, friends and parishioners, church officials said.

-- Matt Zapotosky


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