A suspect was accused of murder Monday in the slaying of three people — a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and the 97-year-old mother of one of the victims, authorities in Massachusetts said.
Christopher Ferguson, 41, was charged with murder in the Sunday morning death of Gilda D'Amore, 73, after she was positively identified during an autopsy, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan told reporters.
She suffered more than 30 stab wounds and injuries from blunt force trauma, Ryan said.
Additional murder charges are likely after autopsies confirm the identities of two other people believed to have been found dead at D'Amore's Newton home: her mother, Lucia Arpino, 97, and husband, Bruno D'Amore, 74, Ryan said.
"At this time we know of no established connection between family members and Mr. Ferguson," Ryan said.
She did not provide additional details about a potential motive and at an earlier news conference said the attack was possibly random.
Ferguson, who was also charged with two counts of assault and burglary, was taken into custody Monday after authorities obtained video that captured a man near the D'Amore home with no shirt, no shoes and "what appeared to be a staggering gait," Ryan said.
Ryan added that officers with the Newton Police Department were familiar with Ferguson and identified him from the video. A bloody footprint found at the D'Amore's home appeared to match an impression of Ferguson's foot, Ryan said.
The victims' bodies were found around 10 a.m. Sunday, after the couple missed a church service and a concerned friend went to check on them, Ryan said.
"Two of the individuals were celebrating a golden wedding anniversary this weekend," Ryan said at a news conference Sunday evening. "As you can imagine, this would be tragic on any day. To have family gathered for this kind of a celebration makes it particularly tragic."
A family statement was posted online by their church, Sacred Heart and Our Lady’s Collaborative, on Monday identifying the victims. The statement identified Gilda D'Amore as Jill D'Amore.
"Many in our faith community are grieving this great loss," the statement said. "We ask for your prayers for them, most especially for their three children and their five grandchildren."
After the killings, extra police patrols were deployed and Ryan urged residents to lock their doors and windows.
A break-in attempt was reported about a half-mile away from at 5:45 a.m. Sunday but was not reported until at least an hour later, according to Ryan. It wasn't clear if the incident was connected to Sunday's killings, she said, adding that she could not recall any other triple homicides in Newton's history.
It wasn't immediately clear if Ferguson has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.