Sunday, September 27, 2009
The Economy Claims four More Lives
A home-improvement worker and school janitor who apparently was struggling to survive the recession killed his sleeping wife and two children before turning the 12-gauge shotgun on himself, Maryland State Police said Saturday.
It is possible that financial difficulties were part of the motive.
Police announced the findings one day after the bodies of Dalton, his wife Jennifer, 37, and their children Charles Jr., 14, and Emmaline, 7, were found in their home in Mount Airy. Mt Airy is a Fredrick County town of 8,800 about 30 miles west of Baltimore.
The bodies of Jennifer Dalton and the children were found in their beds. Charles Dalton's body was lying in the master bedroom next to the bed.
Dalton also fatally shot the family's beagle in a crate inside the home's front door, he said.
Investigators believe the deaths occurred Thursday night or Friday morning. Shipley said Jennifer Dalton failed to report to her part-time job at a veterinary hospital in Damascus, prompting co-workers to try to contact her starting at 8:30 a.m. Friday. No one answered their calls or came to the door.
family friend called 911 at about 5:30 p.m. Friday after spotting a body through a rear window of the split-level house, Shipley said.
Charles Dalton was a self-employed cabinet installer who ran his business, Imagine Millwork, out of his home. He also worked the night shift as a maintenance worker for Montgomery County schools, Shipley said.
The house, on a corner lot in a modest, middle-class neighborhood, had a "for sale" sign out front. It had been on the market for at least a year, neighbors said.
How many more lives will this economy take?