- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TOWSON, MD. (AP) - A Loyola College student from New York and her visiting parents and younger sister were the four people found dead in a hotel room near Baltimore in an apparent murder-suicide, police said Tuesday.

The dead were identified as William Parente, 59; Betty Parente, 58; Stephanie Parente, 19; and Catherine Parente, 11; all of Garden City, N.Y., on Long Island, the Baltimore County Police Department said. A hotel employee found their bodies in a locked guest room Monday after they failed to check out on time.

Baltimore County Police Cpl. Mike Hill said at a news conference that police did not yet have a motive for the killings. Autopsies were being done Tuesday.

“A whole family is dead,” he said.

Courtney Jolley, a spokeswoman for Loyola, said Stephanie Parente was a sophomore there. The school planned a Mass for Tuesday night in memory of her and her family.

The killings stunned people in New York who knew the Parentes.

Betty Parente was on the board of the Tri Town Auxiliary of United Cerebral Palsy of Nassau and volunteered with the Girl Scouts and the American Cancer Society, said Lucille Messina, auxiliary president.

The Parentes were “the most wonderful, beautiful, adorable people. This is impossible, impossible,” Messina said through tears. “I can’t believe this, she’s the sweetest lady you’d ever want to meet. You’d fall in love with her instantly.”

Next-door neighbor Mary Opulente Krener said in a phone interview that William Parente was a real estate attorney in New York. A call to his office was not immediately returned.

“I can’t tell you how heartsick I am,” she said. “This is the most wonderful family, the most kind and loving family. I’m astounded.”

Jolley said Loyola officials sent a campuswide message to tell students, faculty and staff what had happened and to let them know counseling services were available.

The family had breakfast together Sunday morning, and an employee of the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel saw them together Sunday afternoon, Hill said. That was, to his knowledge, the last time they were seen alive. The hotel is in Towson, about 5 miles north of the Loyola campus.

The apparent murder-suicide was the second in Maryland in less than a week. Police said a man killed his wife, his three young children and himself in their home in northwest Maryland. Their bodies were found Saturday and his wife said in a blog entry that he was having a hard time adjusting to a new job.


Associated Press writers Sarah Brumfield and Ben Greene in Baltimore contributed to this report.

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