SOUTH MAHONING TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — An Indiana County community gathered for a prayer service Sunday in memory of a mother and her two young daughters who were found dead Friday night after two homes were allegedly set on fire.
There were many tears at the Plumville Presbyterian Church Sunday morning where three of its members were noticeably missing.
As the reality of what happened begins to set in, the memories of the wonderful people Christine, Amanda and Sara Beatty were are coming to surface.
The sign out in front of the church reads “We love you Chris, Amanda and Sara.”
“It’s just such a tragedy because she was a really good person,” said Nettie Knupp, a family friend.
It was hard for Beatty’s father, Ronald Smail, to hold his composure while remembering his 33-year-old daughter and 11- and 6-year-old grandchildren.
All three were found dead Friday night, allegedly stabbed in the neck.
Beatty’s husband and the girls’ father, Lewis Beatty, has been taken into custody in connection with the incident.
“She didn’t want to agitate him anymore because he did have a volatile personality,” said Smail. “I’m not going to sugar coat that for anybody; he was rowdy.”
Smail says the two were in counseling at their church, but the preacher said Lewis wasn’t willing to bend, and that no headway could be made in their marriage.
It all led up to Christine Beatty making the decision to move out of their Morrow Road home eight weeks ago. A decision her father says he believes caused Lewis Beatty to snap.
“He could be the nicest guy in the world when he wanted to be, but he was tough and insisted on having things his way. His motto was ‘never say never,’” said Smail.
Lewis was found in his home while it was on fire. His two daughters were found dead inside. Christine’s home also went up in flames. When firefighters got to the scene Friday night, she was dead, too.
Now, the community is trying to make sense of the situation as they rally around the family.
“She was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful person and my heart and prayers go out to her family,” said Knupp.
State police in Indiana County and the District Attorney’s Office are scheduled to hold a news conference about this case Monday at noon.
Lewis Beatty is being held in the Indiana County Jail on no bond, charged with three counts of criminal homicide.
State Police Investigate 3 Deaths In Indiana County (6/2/12)
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