SOUTH MAHONING TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — State police in Indiana County say they are investigating a triple homicide in South Mahoning Township.
Investigators are releasing little information about the ongoing investigation, but say the Indiana County District Attorney is working with state police.
Authorities say Christine Beatty and her 11- and 6-year-old daughters all suffered stab wounds to their necks. Lewis Beatty, the woman’s husband and girl’s father, was taken into custody overnight.
The father and grandfather of the victim’s told KDKA-TV’s Christine D’Antonio that he heard about the horrific situation over a police scanner.
“She had called 911 and said she feared for her life, afraid he was going to come back, and that was the last anyone heard from her,” said Ronald Smail.
He described what neighbors told him happened before the tragic murders Friday night.
Smail say his daughter, Christine Beatty, had moved out of a home on Morrow Road with her two daughters, 11-year-old Amanda and 6-year-old Sara, to leave her husband.
“He kept hounding her to come back and she said no,” said Smail. “She said, ‘It’s over; I’m done. I’m not coming back.’ And that seemed to be what set him off.”
Lewis was reportedly taking care of the girls Friday while Christine was working. It was after 7 p.m. when fire crews were called to the Morrow Road home.
The home was in flames when a neighbor called 911 and ran over to find Lewis.
“He heard Lewis coughing and went over and kicked the door in and pulled him out of the smoke and he said, ‘Where’s the girls?’” Smail said. “And he said, ‘I already killed them.’”
Minutes later, firefighters got the call that Christine Beatty’s home on Pfieffer Road was on fire; just like her two daughters, she too was found dead.
Lewis Beatty is currently in the Indiana County Jail charged with three counts of criminal homicide; but for Smail, nothing can ever replace his daughter and two grandchildren – a mother with a heart of gold who he says was trying to get out of a bad situation and two precious girls caught in the crossfire.
“She didn’t ask him for anything, but apparently that wasn’t enough for him,” Smail added. “It’s all gone now.”
State police and the Indiana County District Attorney’s Office are set to hold a news conference on the situation Monday.