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Police Detail a Brutal Slaying in Cross River Murder-Suicide

New details emerge in the deaths of the Friedlander family.

Police Detail a Brutal Slaying in Cross River Murder-Suicide Police Detail a Brutal Slaying in Cross River Murder-Suicide

Editor's note: the following story includes graphic details, and may be unsettling.


State police offered shocking details today in the , saying father Samuel Friedlander fatally shot his two children with a 12-gauge shotgun, bludgeoned his wife to death and then killed himself in the basement of their home.

The couple was slated to attend a divorce court meeting Thursday, state police said.

No note was left.

Police put the time of the murder-suicide at just after midnight Tuesday. The bodies were discovered at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday after wife Amy Friedlander's friend and business partner called 911 when she hadn't heard from her.

The family was well-known in their quiet neighborhood in northern Westchester and at their school, Lewisboro Elementary. The children both attended the school—Molly, 10, and Gregory, 8. School officials have launched the building's crisis team and teachers are working off a script designed to allay fears and calm emotions.

The children were shot in their torsos, police said, in their respective bedrooms. There was no sign of struggle. They were wearing pajamas, and had been covered up with blankets in their beds after being shot.

Amy Friedlander was found dead on her side on the floor of the master bedroom. She was not shot and likely bludgeoned to death, police said, noting a broken-off leg of a piece of furniture was found nearby.

Police do not know where the father, a lawyer, got the gun. He was still living in the home as they were divorcing, authorities said, but not sleeping in the master bedroom.

Samuel Friedlander's behavior had changed recently, state police Maj. Michael Kopy told reporters today, but he had no history of violence or mental illness that they know of.

"People who knew him noted a change in his behavior (over the past few weeks,)" Kopy said.

But there were prior signs of strain in the marriage besides the impending divorce. Police said they had responded to the home at 2 Lambert Ridge in Cross River, N.Y. in 2006 for a domestic incident, describing it as an argument over the kids.

Kopy, who has been in law enforcement for a quarter century, said about the case: "There is no way to characterize it."

Kopy noted the next steps in the investigation are interviewing friends and relatives, and researching where the murder weapon came from.

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