Man charged with killing estranged wife, 2 children

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An Indiana County man is charged in the stabbing deaths of three members of his family, whose bodies were found Friday night in two homes where there had been fires.

Lewis Beatty, 40, of South Mahoning was lodged in the Indiana County Jail on Saturday without bond, charged with homicide, according to the booking department. Online court records did not list the charges.

Mr. Beatty's estranged wife, Christine Beatty, 33, was found in the doorway of a mobile home on Pfeiffer Road in East Mahoning. Daughters Amanda, 11, and Sara, 6, were found at a home on Morrow Road in South Mahoning. All three suffered stab wounds to the neck.

Coroner Mike Baker said in a news release that Indiana County officials are investigating "the suspicious deaths of three members of the same family that occurred at two different locations Friday evening in northern Indiana County."

State police in Indiana County said early Saturday the deaths "all appear highly suspicious," but released no other details.

Indiana County District Attorney Pat Dougherty said the deaths are tied to two fires reported about an hour apart.

Mr. Dougherty said the first fire was reported shortly before 7 p.m. in the South Mahoning home, and two victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Online records indicate that house belongs to Lewis and Christine Beatty.

Plumville fire Chief Joe Brendle said the blaze was quickly extinguished. Marion Center fire Chief Rich Lydic said his department was fighting the first fire when firefighters were called to the second blaze in East Mahoning. That fire was reported just after 8 p.m., Mr. Dougherty said.

Christine Beatty was pronounced dead at that scene. KDKA-TV reported that animals also were found dead.

State police, in conjunction with the district attorney and county coroner, worked through the night to piece together the sequence of events. Autopsies were performed Saturday at the Allegheny County medical examiner's office in Pittsburgh.

Police and prosecutors have scheduled a news conference for Monday on the deaths.

neigh_north

The Associated Press and KDKA-TV contributed. First Published June 3, 2012 12:00 AM


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