By Rick Ritter

LOTHIAN, Md. (WJZ) — Like something out of a soap opera, a twisted love affair turns into double murder in Anne Arundel County. It’s the story everyone is talking about.

Rick Ritter explains three people are charged in the crime, including two teenagers.

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All three remain behind bars. Family members say it’s been an extremely difficult time. They’re trying to wrap their heads around what was staged as a murder-suicide, but is really a love triangle gone wrong.

Ann Marie Anastasi, her 13-year-old daughter, and the girl’s 18-year-old boyfriend, Gabriel Struss–the trio investigators are pegging in a bizarre double murder.

Last Monday, police found 40-year-old Anthony Anastasi Jr. gunned down in his home along West Bay Front Road in the quiet Lothian community and 25-year-old Jacqueline Riggers stabbed to death.

“Once our homicide detectives were on scene, they immediately knew something was off, something wasn’t right,” said Anne Arundel County police said.

Investigators say Anastasi Jr., his wife, Ann Marie, and Jacqueline all lived in the house together. Charging documents show the three, historically, were all sexual partners.

Documents add the husband and wife’s marriage was fraught with conflict and domestic abuse and that Anastasi Jr. and Riggs were still in a relationship, but he and his wife were not.

Ann Anastasi told police her husband committed suicide, but a gun near his body didn’t match evidence on scene.

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“Mrs. Anastasi provided the initial false report,” said Wes Adams, Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney.

Police say Mrs. Anastasi and her daughter plotted the killing and had the teen’s boyfriend carry it out.

“He’s never done nothing, as I know of. Never. He’s been manipulated into doing this,” said Struss’ grandfather.

Struss’ family is now speaking out.

“I know he hung out with that girl a couple of times. He’s a teenager. He did what kids do,” his brother said.

Trying to piece together a slaying where plenty of questions remain unanswered.

All three suspects are being charged with first-degree murder and other charges.

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Ann Marie Anastasi was denied bail Friday. Her 13-year-old daughter remains in a juvenile facility.

Rick Ritter