A sorry excuse for a mother, who was in a long, volatile process of getting a divorce, made the decision to murder her two young children then turn the gun she used on them, on herself. All this was done after she had set fire to their Pennsylvania home.
Dr. Stephen Diamantoni is the coroner of Lancaster County and had been in charge of the autopsies. After an investigation, the deaths of 40-year-old Carola Arnau and her two children were seen as a murder-suicide.
When emergency crews got to the burning home, they discover that both children had actually been shot in their beds, indicating that at least one, if not both, were asleep when their mother murdered them.
The Daily Mail had the story:
Officials said several fires were deliberately set on the property using an accelerant, including inside a detached garage where Arnau’s estranged husband, Miguel, had been staying. He was not present at the time of the shootings.
A firearm was found on Arnau, who had legally purchased a gun Monday along with some ammunition which authorities said was accounted for. District Attorney Craig Stedman told reporters Tuesday that the ‘only small comfort’ was that the children appeared to have been shot in their sleep.
‘I tell people, in my job, some days are worse than others, and this is one of the worst, and certainly one of the darkest,’ Stedman added.
Miguel Arnau, 45, had been at work from 10 pm the previous evening and was not home at the time of the double murder-suicide.
Mr Arnau was cooperating with authorities and Stedman offered his condolences to him. A neighbor who saw Miguel arrive home after the deadly incident described him toPennLive.com as ‘hysterical.’ Stedman said the couple had been going through ‘somewhat of a bitter divorce’ and the situation had been ‘escalating.’
It was back on February 22, 2016 that Carola filed for divorce from Miguel, stating that their 10-year marriage was in her words, ‘irretrievably broken.’ A year after the initial filing, the mother-of-two filed another court document, this time a protection from abuse order, as she then accused her estranged husband of ‘inappropriate contact’ with their 4-year-old son – but Child Youth Services saw no evidence that pointed to that claim.
Miguel himself ended up suing for custody of his two children and a judge issued a temporary order granting Miguel shared custody of the children every other weekend and also the right to have the children after their schooling, but only until 7:00pm.
According to the district attorney’s office, Carola Arnau was not of sound mind, and had been receiving help for some mental issues she was having. Stedman believed that the authorities were interested in learning about her state of mind from friends and family who had a better knowledge of her. Ron Rannels was the 70-year-old neighbor who lived close by the home, and described the family as ‘very nice.’
How perceptions have changed…
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