Massachusetts man kills high school sweetheart wife and three children, sets house on fire before killing himself
Massachusetts State Police are reportedly investigating the case as a murder-suicide, with multiple other local and state agencies also aiding in the investigation.
A Massachusetts man is believed to have killed his wife and three children, before setting his house on fire using gasoline, and then killing himself. Luke Karpinski and his wife Justine Wilbur, both 41, seven-year-old twins Alex and Zoe, three-year-old Marek, and two dogs were found dead after the blaze was extinguished at the family's home in the 1300 block of Home Road, Sheffield, on Wednesday, March 13.
According to the Daily Mail, fire crews responded to the residence on reports of a house fire at around 7:50 am and found the family's home completely engulfed in flames. It would take them close to an hour to put out the fire, finally allowing for search in the rubble for survivors.
Rescuers found Wilbur's body on the first floor during the initial search; they found bodies of the other four — Karpinski and the couple's three young children — on the second floor during a secondary search.
The case is reportedly being investigated as a murder-suicide. Speaking about the incident, District Attorney Andrea Harrington said, "At this time, the evidence indicates that Luke Karpinski was the assailant. The scene is secure and there is no reason to believe that the public is endangered at this time."
Karpinski and Wilbur were high school sweethearts, with former teachers describing them as "two outstanding student citizens." Having started dating in 1996, they went to college together, with Wilbur's sister Kristen revealing that the pair started their career in Alexandria, Virginia, before returning to Massachusetts seven years later.
Federal records show Karpinski was employed as a patent examiner at the Patent and Trademark Office in Sheffield. Wilbur, on the other hand, worked as a patent attorney at an Albany, New York-based law firm called Hoffman Warnick.
The company released a statement paying tribute to Wilbur which read, "It is with grief and immeasurable sorrow that we learned of the death of our friend and colleague Justine M. Wilbur, who died with her family yesterday in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Justine was a talented attorney who joined our team in 2017 after having built a reputation both domestically and internationally as a patent expert."
"Her work was both meaningful and challenging having encompassed topics ranging from cancer treatment and nanotechnology to advanced materials," it continued. "Justine was smart, knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking. She was a devoted mother to her wonderful children, and a true friend to everyone in our firm. We are each devastated by loss and extraordinary sadness, but are comforted and grateful for having shared Justine’s infectious spirit and energy. We pray for her family and those who loved her."
The Berkshire Edge reported that in addition to fire crews, several specialized criminal forensic units with the Massachusetts State Police — including the Crime Scene Services Section and Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section — were also at the scene.
"This is an ongoing, extensive investigation with multiple local and state agencies, including the State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and detectives from the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office," said Harrington, adding that the case was "complicated."