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Tow Truck Driver find bodies inside rental car (NY)

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Bodies of woman, 3 children found in rental car in apparent murder-suicide in Syracuse


A woman and three children were found dead inside a rental car in Syracuse on Sunday afternoon. The Syracuse Police Department is investigating the incident as a possible murder-suicide. 

A tow truck driver sent to retrieve the overdue rental car found all four people in the car unresponsive and called 911 at 1:47 p.m., Syracuse Police Sgt. Matthew Malinowski said in a news release. The car was parked in a driveway in the 100 block Berwyn Avenue, which is tucked away near Interstate 81 and about a mile south of Syracuse University's Carrier Dome.

Syracuse police responded, along with the Syracuse Fire Department and EMS services, Malinowski said in the release. Police Chief Kenton Buckner said during a press conference in Syracuse a fire department hazmat truck was called to the scene to make sure there wasn't anything dangerous inside the vehicle. 

Though the investigation is in its early stages, Malinowski said in the release that evidence "indicates that this was an intentional act by the adult to kill herself and the three children inside." 

Police did not release the ages of the children or whether they are related to the woman. 



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This Epolito’s Towing Company truck was at the scene on Berwyn Avenue in Syracuse where the driver of the truck found a woman and three children dead on Sunday, July 7, 2019. (Patrick Lohmann | Syracuse.com )


SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A woman and three children found dead in a car in Syracuse Sunday are possibly a murder-suicide, according to Syracuse Police Chief Kenton T. Buckner.

Buckner, speaking at the scene on Berwyn Avenue, said the dead are an adult woman and three children - two-school age and one is younger than the other two children. He said they don’t know the relationship among the four at this time.

The four bodies were found in a car in a driveway in the 100 block of Berwyn Avenue, the chief said. He confirmed a tow truck driver discovered the bodies.

John Crane, a tow truck driver for Epolito’s Towing Company, told Syracuse.com | The Post-Standard this afternoon he found the bodies Sunday afternoon and called 911.

“It was bad,” he said at the scene.

He said he was called to pick up a Zipcar (ride share) vehicle on Berwyn Avenue when he found the bodies in the car. He said he saw no visible injuries.

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said the discovery of the bodies has left “everyone pretty shook up,” referring to the witnesses and first responders.

A fire department hazardous materials truck is on the scene. Buckner said the truck was called in to make sure there was nothing dangerous inside the car.

Other police and fire trucks are on the scene. Police and firefighters were initially called to the scene at 1:47 p.m. Sunday.

Syracuse police and firefighters shut down Berwyn Avenue, a short street off of East Colvin Street near Interstate 81 and not far from Syracuse University’s Lampe Athletics Complex/Manley Field House.

Quintin Coleman, a neighbor, said police told him that three kids and a woman were dead.

He said he’s seen the woman in the neighborhood but she kept to herself. He’d never seen a car in the driveway until he saw the Zipcar, a silver Ford Focus, parked in the driveway on July 4.

“She just kept to herself," Coleman said. "You’d see her bringing her kids to the bus stop when school was in.”





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