Autopsy Confirms Md. Couple & Infant Son Died In Double Murder-Suicide

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Giomarelli, Asefa, murder suicide
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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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NEW MARKET, Md. (WJZ)—Autopsies confirm what Frederick County Police had suspected.  The shooting deaths of a mother and father and their young infant son in their New Market home was a double murder-suicide.

Derek Valcourt has more on the tragedy and 5-year-old girl who may have seen it all.

Police say that little girl was in the house but not hiding as they had previously explained. She was the one, though, who ran to a neighbor’s house for help, telling them her family was hurt.

Accomplished careers as researchers, two beautiful children, and a large house in New Market: 40-year-old Dr. Benyam “Ben” Asefa and his wife, 42-year-old Barbara Giomarelli, appeared to have it all.

That is until Wednesday night when domestic violence inside the home ended with gunshots.

Police won’t say yet which adult killed his/her spouse and infant boy Samuel and then committed suicide.

“That’s crazy,” one Frederick resident said.

“It’s always worse when there’s children,” another resident said.

The crime shocked many in Frederick, including those on the campus of Hood College where Asefa worked occasionally as an adjunct biology professor.

“You feel for the little girl that’s left behind.  I don’t understand why somebody could do that,” one person said.

The couple’s 5-year-old daughter was inside the house at the time. She ran to neighbors to report her family was hurt. But it’s not clear exactly what she saw.

“Somehow God plants in little ones the capacity to shut out what they can’t deal with,” said Dr. Gabriel Newman, neuropsychologist.

Newman says many children who experience such horrific tragedies block out or alter their memories of what happened, shelving until adulthood the difficult task of processing her family’s trauma.

“My guess about this little girl is that they’ll be a time later in life when she feels safe enough, protected enough and she knows that there are adults around her who care enough that she can let it emerge.  Hopefully with more of an adult mind.  The child mind is not ready for it,” Newman said.

Police say they won’t be releasing more details in the case until after they speak with and interview family members of the husband and wife this weekend.

Police say the couple lived at the New Market home less than a year. Prior to that, they had apparently been living in Columbia, Howard County.

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