Thursday, September 23, 2004

Yesterday I posted about my recent fixation with mortality and the safety of my family. A few hours later, Stepmom e-mailed me to tell me about a horrific double murder of a mother and baby that happened a few miles from her and Dad's house. She said the helicopters were searching for most of the night, and she received a call from the police to lock the doors. Dad is out of town, so I got worried. Another woman was murdered nearby about a week ago. At first I wondered if they had a serial killer on the loose. My second thought was that the woman and baby were killed by her spouse/boyfriend. Thought number two was correct. It's a sad fact that the majority of women who are murdered are killed by a husband/boyfriend. Police arrested the boyfriend yesterday, but still have no leads on the week-old case. Scary stuff.

I just don't understand it. Laci Peterson, the woman in Utah, now this...and I'm sure many others that never make it as big news. I just can't understand the power trips that these men are on...that they think they "own" their families. I wonder if the boyfriend was abusive and if she was trying to leave.

Below are excerpts from today's story in the Hartford Courant. Warning: It's detailed.

Man Arrested In Double Slaying6:32 AM EDT,September 23, 2004 By JESSE LEAVENWORTH And DAVID OWENS, Courant Staff Writers NEW MILFORD --
A man whose infant son and girlfriend were found stabbed to death Tuesday has been charged with the gruesome killings.Police arrested David Stone, 29, of New Milford early today. A law enforcement official said he had confessed.Local and state police on Wednesday night said they also planned to search the Valley View condominium where Stone lived with Lisa M. Aviles and their 4-month-old son, Damion E. Stone.Fishermen, responding to screams, found the bodies of the baby boy and Aviles, 31, in a wooded area Tuesday at about 8 p.m. Damion was still strapped into a baby carrier. Aviles was found about 12 yards away, state police Sgt. J. Paul Vance said. Both died of multiple stab wounds, according to the state medical examiner's office in Farmington.Police said the killings were particularly gruesome. The infant was stabbed 10 to 15 times, while Aviles was stabbed more than 30 times, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."In my 30 years as a state trooper, I've never seen a scene that was so horrific," Vance said.

Stone worked as a manager at the Dairytown Drivethru Convenience store in Danbury. Store owner Kevin Paige said the man came to work Wednesday morning and told him that his girlfriend and son were missing. The man had seen newspaper stories about the killings, Paige said, and said he was concerned about their wellbeing."I said, `Let's go and make sure it's not Lisa,'" Paige said. "He was upset over the thought of it possibly being his son."Paige said he accompanied his employee to the police station. Stone went in to speak with officers, Paige said, and that's the last time he saw him.He said he would be surprised if his employee were involved in such an awful crime. He was a reliable worker who seemed to love his son, Paige said, and he and Aviles did not have any troubles that Paige could see were out of the ordinary

Lynne Vogt, who lives near the couple in a condominium complex on Upper Valley Drive, said she and her family tried to keep away from Stone."He just didn't seem to know his boundaries. We didn't care for him," Vogt said.She recalled one day this past summer when the man, driving a car, "came flying" into the pool area of the complex and almost drove up over an embankment and into the pool where Vogt's grandchildren were playing.But Stone did seem to be "very into the baby," Vogt said. She said she had not seen Aviles or the baby for about a week before the killings.Another neighbor, Evelyn Travis, said she met the couple and their child this past summer at the swimming pool and often saw them walking the baby around the condominium complex."They both seemed like very happy parents," Travis said. "He seemed very proud, very proud of his family."

Aviles' parents, Irene and Thomas Andrews of Daytona Beach, Fla., said Aviles grew up in Highland Mills, N.Y., and had worked in retail. They did not know much about their daughter's boyfriend, but Aviles had told them that he had a criminal record, Thomas Andrews said."We didn't approve of him," Thomas Andrews said."She was a good kid," he said. "We don't know why this happened. We're absolutely befuddled by this."

Tuesday's killings are the second and third in a week in New Milford. Maria Rojas was found dead Sept. 15 behind her husband's flooring business off Route 7. The mother of two young children was killed by a blow to the head. No arrests have been made in that case. Police said Tuesday's killings and Rojas' death are not related.

Courant Staff Writers Dave Altimari and Katie Melone contributed to this story. An Associated Press report is also included.

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