- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2002

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. A Howard County judge yesterday ordered a psychiatric examination for a 43-year-old Columbia father after he was arrested and charged with assaulting and killing his young daughters.
District Court Judge Pamila Brown ordered Robert Emmett Filippi held without bond on four charges of assault and four charges of murder of his daughters, Nicole Erika Filippi, 4, and Lindsey Ayaka Filippi, 2.
The girls were key subjects in a divorce lawsuit filed by Mr. Filippi, a banker with the International Finance Corp., and a countersuit filed by his wife, Naoko Nakajma.
Mrs. Nakajma had dropped off the girls about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
Mr. Filippi's sister, Barbara Marie Bleiler, 46, called police about 11:30 p.m. Sunday and said her brother had killed his daughters and was going to kill himself, according to charging documents.
Police arrived about 11:45 p.m. at the house, in the 10800 block of Harmel Drive. They found the girls in a second-story room with rope around their necks. A piece of wood was nearby, like that used to tighten tourniquets, police said.
After obtaining a search warrant, police found a piece of rope behind an ironing board in the master bedroom.
Mr. Filippi was seated at the kitchen table with a pill bottle and a beverage. The girls were pronounced dead at Howard County General Hospital, and Mr. Filippi was taken to Laurel Regional Hospital for a medical examination.
Deputy State's Attorney Matthew Campbell said later that police found a rope tied to a beam in the basement and marks on Mr. Filippi's face and neck were consistent with an attempted hanging.
Mediation of the divorce suits was scheduled for today.
The divorce suits state that Mrs. Nakajma had not lived in the house since she was locked out in March after returning from Tokyo, where the couple had been married Oct. 7, 1996.
Mrs. Nakajma who was born, raised and educated in Japan took the girls to Japan on April 21, 2000, and again on June 2, 2001, returning each time several weeks late. The lawsuits state she wanted to return to college there.
She said Mr. Filippi "persistently engaged in cruelty of treatment" and "especially vicious conduct," and repeatedly harassed and humiliated her.
Mr. Filippi accused his wife of neglecting their children, citing an instance when he took them from day care, where Nicole had a 104-degree temperature and Lindsey felt sick. A pediatrician treated Nicole for a bronchial infection and Lindsey for an ear infection.
Neighbors seemed unaware of the family's problems.
James Prozeller, 25, who lives near the Filippi house, said the family never acknowledged neighbors' greetings and never attended community get-togethers.
Other neighbors had talked with Mr. Filippi on Sunday evening and said everything seemed fine.
"I was speaking with him [Saturday night], and he seemed to be in good spirits. He certainly wasn't remorseful about anything. His kids were with him. They were in a good mood," Bradley Arnold said.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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