Debt and Depression Cause of Murder/Suicide in Maryland
The Maryland father who killed his wife and three children before shooting himself this past weekend had struggled with financial problems and mental illness, Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins said on Tuesday.
At a news conference this afternoon, authorities released a raft of new details about the slayings, describing a scene more ghastly than what had been known since the bodies were discovered Saturday morning.
According to investigators, Francie Billotti-Wood, 33, and the couple's 5-year-old son, Chandler, were each shot twice in the head. Chandler's younger brother, 4-year-old Gavin, was shot three times; daughter Fiona, 2, was shot once.
After they were shot, the children's throats were slashed nearly to the point of decapitation, officials said.
Christopher Wood, 34, left six notes behind discussing his frustrations about their financial problems and the remorse he felt for what he'd done. One note also listed a number of medications he was on - anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs and other psychiatric medication.
Wood had a good job as an account manager, making $97,000 a year, but they'd only just moved to Maryland from Jacksonville, Florida last year after a job transfer, and they could not sell the Florida home. Trying to keep up with the mortgage payments, along with rent on the new home, left them more than $450,000 in debt.
In a blog under her name, Billotti-Wood said she thrived on the excitement of change, but her husband didn't handle it as well.
"Chris is trying to adjust but he is having a hard time with the new job which makes him more of a major player at work," a March 16 entry read.
The families declined to comment but issued this joint statement.
They plan a funeral for all five family members on Friday at 11 a.m. at Holy Catholic Community Church in Middletown.
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