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Police: Girl, 5, Was In Home Where Parents & Infant Brother Died In Apparent Murder-Suicide

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Giomarelli, Asefa, murder suicide
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NEW MARKET, Md. (WJZ)—Frederick County Police are calling it a double murder-suicide after they found a husband and wife and their 3-month-old boy dead inside their New Market home.  Somehow their 5-year-old daughter escaped unharmed.

Derek Valcourt explains police are still guarding some important details in the case.

Police say they know who pulled the trigger and they think they know why, but they aren’t releasing that information until they can explain it to the extended family of the deceased.

Wednesday night sheriff’s deputies rushed to the home on Woods Court in New Market — located about 35 miles west of Baltimore — after a 5-year-old knocked on her neighbor’s door saying everyone in her family was hurt.

“Deputies quickly realized they needed to make immediate entry into the home, which they did at that time. They discovered three deceased individuals,” said Captain Tim Clark, Frederick County Sheriff’s Department.

The little girl’s mother and father, 42-year-old Barbara Giomarelli and 40-year-old Benyam Asefa, along with their 3-month-old son Samuel Asefa, were all found shot to death in the same room. A handgun was found nearby.

Police initially said the couple’s 5-year-old daughter hid in the house when it all happened.  They now say she did not hide, but was in the house.

Police say the little girl then ran to a neighbor’s house and told them her family was hurt.  It was the neighbors who called 911.

Neighbors declined to speak with WJZ.  The family lived at the house less than a year.  The little girl now remains with Social Services until custody can be determined. It’s unclear if she saw the shootings.

Asefa was a part-time adjunct biology professor at Frederick’s Hood College.  The NIH confirms that he was worked as a clinical immunologist at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute until Sept. 26, 2013.

Renate Myles, a NIH spokeswoman, released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened to hear of this terrible tragedy. NIH can confirm that Dr. Benyam “Ben” Asefa was employed by Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, a subcontractor to Battelle Memorial Institute, as a clinical immunologist and supported work at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Frederick, Maryland, from March 19, 2012, to September 26, 2013. Dr. Asefa was not an employee of the NIH, so any additional questions should be directed to Battelle Memorial Institute. Barbara Giomarelli was a visiting fellow (trainee) at NIH in NCI’s Molecular Targets Development Program in the Center for Cancer Research from April 2004-April 2009.”

Giomarelli is from Italy.  Her family is now on their way to the United States. Police are guarding details of what happened inside the house, only saying it appears to be a double murder-suicide.

“As the investigation is moved forward, there’s nothing that we have found that indicates otherwise and we are more and more confident with our determination,” Clark said.

Giomarelli’s family is expected to arrive in the United States on Friday afternoon.  Police say they won’t release more details until after they meet with that family sometime Friday night.

The victims’ bodies have been taken to medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for autopsy.

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