Two men who allegedly killed the wife and two daughters of a prominent doctor in a home invasion this week are suspected of burglarizing two other homes in the same town the night before, according to the homeowners.
The homeowners said police told them the burglaries Sunday morning in Cheshire were linked. The revelation left the families, who were home at the time with their children, shaken.
The suspects have not been charged in the other two burglaries. Cheshire police said they could not comment on any specific incidents, citing an ongoing investigation.
"What happened to them could have happened to us just as easily," said David Hick, who was home with his wife and three children.
Family photo taken during robbery
Hick, a major account executive for a telecommunications company, said the burglars stole a photo of him and his wife along with cash, credit cards and a cell phone. Taking the photo left them wondering if the robbers planned to target them.
"That's one thing that is really bothering us," Hick said.
Two parolees, 26-year-old Joshua Komisarjevsky of Cheshire and 44-year-old Steven Hayes of Winsted, remained jailed on $15 million bond each Thursday.
Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against the two, who were each charged Thursday with six counts of capital felony. They already faced charges of assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, arson, larceny and risk of injury to children.
A public memorial service has been set for Saturday for school nurse Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11.
Father still hospitalized
Hawke-Petit was strangled and her daughters died of smoke inhalation as the house burned around them, according to autopsy results and police.
The lone survivor, Dr. William Petit Jr., was badly beaten but managed to escape. He remained hospitalized with serious injuries Thursday.
"My understanding is one of the suspects in the Petit crime confessed to the two crimes on the street," Hick said, referring to his home and a neighbor's house. "It's my understanding it's been confirmed all the crimes were committed by the same people."
His neighbor, Ronald Bergamo, also said a police officer told him the suspects burglarized his home at about 3 a.m. Sunday.
"They told the police where to find my stuff," Bergamo said. "He basically said our crime and the other crime were committed by the same people based on the investigation."
‘We aren't the quaint town any more’
Bergamo, whose home is several miles away from the Petit home, said the burglars apparently came through an unlocked door and took cash and left a large carving knife on a table in his family room. He said he was home with his wife, their 12-year-old son and another couple, but everyone slept through the crime.
"We were one family from being the next family," Bergamo said. "We were within 24 hours of being that family."
Hugh Keefe, Bergamo's attorney, also said the burglary was linked to the suspects.
Hick, who did not report the crime until Monday because his family did not realize initially what had happened, said he quickly ordered a home alarm system.
"We aren't the quaint town any more," Bergamo said.