It was supposed to be the happiest day of his daughter’s life. It’s one she’ll never forget… but for all of the wrong reasons.
Police say a Pennsylvania man blew up his house in an apparent suicide on the day of her wedding.
UPDATE: Authorities say homeowner's body found amid rubble after explosion levels home in Edgewood.https://t.co/6d1eDyfphW
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@PittsburghPG) September 15, 2019
Moments before it exploded on Saturday, he was seen standing outside the home in Edgewood.
Because of the wedding, most members of the family were out of the house at the time.
“We came outside to see what was going on, and the house was in flames — still standing — but in flames,” neighbor Donna Antolovich told local media outlets. “Three to five minutes before the house blew up, the owner was standing in front of it. After that, nobody could find him.”
According to Edgewood Police Chief Robert Payne, investigators said it appeared he’d disconnected the gas line in the basement.
“And of course, it wouldn’t take much of a spark to explode the house,” he said.
Late Saturday, his body was found in the rubble. Previously, police have been called to the home for domestic issues relating to mental illness and have now ruled the death a suicide.
Local media outlets say that his cell phone was found on the outside of the windshield of his vehicle.
Dann Laudermilch lives nearby. He said the explosion shook his house “fairly violently.”
“I would say about 60 to 90 seconds after getting out here, the house just collapsed in one large movement with a lot of sound to it,” Laudermilch told the Post-Gazette. “By that time it was fully in flames. It went up in flames remarkably fast. I thought it would take longer to burn, but it was like a minute and a half — it was crazy.”
Another neighbor, Rochelle Levine, also spoke to media outlets about it.
“A bomb, that is what it sounded like,” she said.
The only injury reported from emergency responders was a possible broken wrist by a police officer who was helping fire crews.
The neighbor’s house was also damaged – just days after it had been sold to a young couple that was about to move in.
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About two weeks ago, we learned of another tragic suicide out of Harris County, Texas. That’s where police say they discovered a married couple and their 5-year-old child dead in an apparent murder-suicide Friday afternoon.
The couple is a 36-year-old man and 37-year-old woman. Relatives had tried to contact the small family earlier this week and were unable to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
They went by the apartment where the family lived, tucked away in the 21000 block of Inverness Forest off the Hardy Toll Road.
They told police they noticed the family’s cars were in the parking lot, but no one was answering the door when they knocked.
Gonzalez said when they went to the nearby leasing office and explained the situation, one of the employees opened the door.
The relatives went inside and that’s where they found the couple and their 5-year-old daughter dead in a bedroom.
Police say it’s not clear who was killed first, but according to Gonzalez there was a firearm found near the man’s body, indicating to detectives that he might have been the killer.
The relatives who found their bodies told police nothing had seemed off about the family in question immediately before the shooting, except for the fact that they hadn’t been heard from in days.
Detectives are trying to work out the timing of when things happened, but believe it might have happened as early as Tuesday. They say that’s the last time relatives heard from the family.
Police say the father hadn’t show up for work at least on Friday, but they weren’t yet sure if he had been at his job earlier in the week as well.
It’s not the first time Gonzalez’ office has responded to a situation like this.
There were too such cases in 2018 – the first last July.
Police say 8-year-old Sarah Wolfe and 12-year-old Phillip Bernal were both killed by Wolfe’s father, 38-year-old Cimarron Wolfe. They say he then turned the gun on himself in east Harris County.
That same November, 15-year-old Isabella and 14-year-old Maria Perez were both killed by their stepfather, Victor Portillo. He also died by suicide in a home near Katy.
“It’s very sad,” Gonzalez said. “In my career as a homicide investigator, I investigated many murder-suicides. It’s a little bit more rare when a child’s involved, but we’ve seen it before.”