- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

BOSTON (AP) — British authorities arrested a man yesterday in the shooting deaths of his wife and baby daughter, and prosecutors say he might have backed out of a plan to commit suicide after killing them in their Massachusetts home.

Neil Entwistle, who returned to his native England a day after the killings, is charged with two counts of murder, Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said. He also faces two weapons-related charges.

Investigators think he used his father-in-law’s handgun to shoot his wife, Rachel, and their daughter on the morning of Jan. 20, Mrs. Coakley said. She said he might have intended to kill himself as well, possibly because of financial difficulties as his Internet business ventures failed, but he didn’t follow through.

The next morning, Mr. Entwistle bought a one-way ticket and got on a flight to London. Before leaving, he returned the .22-caliber handgun to his father-in-law’s home in Carver, Mrs. Coakley said.

“We have forensic information that links it both to him and to Rachel, and we know Rachel had not used that gun,” Mrs. Coakley said.

Mrs. Entwistle, 27, and 9-month-old Lillian, were found dead Jan. 22 in their home in the Boston suburb of Hopkinton.

Mr. Entwistle, 27, was ordered held until a hearing today in London after the arrest yesterday. Mrs. Coakley said the arrest warrant was issued after prosecutors received forensic results indicating that the gun used in the killing was from a collection owned by his father-in-law.

Police were first called to the Entwistle home on Jan. 21 but didn’t see anything wrong. Mrs. Coakley said friends of the couple had showed up for a dinner party, but no one answered the door. She said Mrs. Entwistle’s mother called police when she couldn’t reach her daughter.

Police visited the home again and discovered the bodies amid piles of bedding. Mrs. Entwistle had been shot in the head and the baby in the abdomen, Mrs. Coakley said. It wasn’t clear whether they were awake or sleeping when they were shot.

Mr. Entwistle didn’t return for his wife and daughter’s funeral on Feb. 1.

At the time of the killings, Mr. Entwistle was nearing financial ruin, but he apparently hid the problems from his family, Mrs. Coakley said.

“The picture we had was of a young couple starting out with a healthy future,” Mrs. Coakley said. But in reality, she said, “he had no money and really had no assets.”

Among his Web site ventures were millionmaker.co.uk, which promised customers as much as $6,000 in monthly earnings; srpublications.co.uk, which offered a manual that it said would help men enlarge their penises; and srpublications, which offered software at reduced prices on EBay.

Relatives told investigators that Mr. Entwistle had been looking for a technology job. His wife had been a teacher but was not working at the time.

The couple met in 1999 at the University of York, where she was spending a year studying abroad. They married in 2003 and stayed in England until last year. Their daughter was born in April.

The family moved to Massachusetts and had rented the Colonial-style home in Hopkinton less than two weeks before the killings.

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