In a violent rage that police say spanned several hours, 59-year-old William Parente of Garden City asphyxiated and beat his wife and two daughters before taking his own life in a Maryland hotel room April 19.
William, along with his wife, Betty, 58, and their youngest daughter, Catherine, 11, a Garden City Middle School sixth grader, were in Baltimore visiting Stephanie Parente, 19, a sophomore at Loyola College.
According to Baltimore County police, William, Betty and Catherine checked into a Sheraton hotel in Towson, MD Wednesday, April 15. But when the family failed to check out as scheduled Monday, April 20, that's when the hotel's cleaning staff made the gruesome discovery.
Four dead bodies were discovered in a guest room on the hotel's tenth floor.
An investigation revealed William killed all three family members in the same manner before committing suicide, killing Betty first and then his youngest daughter, Catherine. When his eldest daughter, Stephanie, returned from campus, Baltimore County police say he then killed her. Police believe William Parente moved the bodies of his wife and daughters onto the king-sized bed after the killings.
The spree ended with William bleeding to death after cutting himself in the hotel room's bathroom with a knife he allegedly purchased at a nearby mall. As of press time, police had not specified what part of his body was slashed.
Baltimore medical examiners determined the manner of death to Betty, Catherine and Stephanie to be homicide by "asphyxiation and blunt force trauma." Betty and her daughters were killed "sometime Sunday morning and late afternoon."
Although police are still searching for a motive, detectives in Baltimore have learned of allegations that William, a Manhattan-based tax and real estate attorney who moved his family from Brooklyn to Garden City a decade ago, may have been involved in "questionable financial dealings."
Authorities have not stated whether or not the current FBI probe into William Parente's financial dealings is in fact a motive for the killings. They are, however, not ruling it out.
The Baltimore County Police Department is cooperating fully with any investigation that requires its assistance, as is the Garden City Police Department, according to Inspector Kenneth Jackson.
"We continue to interview family, friends, work associates, to try to determine the motive and circumstance behind these violent acts," Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said at an April 22 press conference.