Four people are dead after a series of related incidents in North Carolina, Connecticut and Dover. The four individuals involved are former Dutchess County resident Katie Pladl ; her biological father, Steven Pladl; the child they had together; and Katie Pladl's adoptive father Anthony Fusco.
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Thursday began with the discovery of the death of a baby in North Carolina.
It ended hundreds of miles away with the revelation that the father was suspected of killing two others before he committed suicide in New York. Police in three states gathered events early Thursday night when 7-month-old Bennett Pladl was found dead, according to police in Knightdale, NC hundreds of miles away, the child's mother, Katie Pladl, 20, and her adoptive father, Anthony Fusco, 56, was gunned down in New Milford, Connecticut.
The search for the sniper crossed the border into Dutchess County, NY The search ended in the town of Dover, about 25 miles east of Poughkeepsie. Steven Pladl, 45, was killed by an apparent gunshot wound in the alleged shooter's Honda minivan.
The New York State Police respond to a suspected suspect on Dog Tail Corners Road east of Berkshire Road in the city of Dover. (Photo: Courtesy photo)
While the Knightdale police revealed the events on Thursday, the spark that triggered them was missing.
Katie Pladl, a former resident of Dutchess County, and her biological father, Steven Pladl, were charged with incest in January after authorities learned that they had a child together and lived as a "married" couple.
The child was living in North Carolina under the care of Steven Pladl's mother, the Knightdale police said. Pladl picked up the baby from his mother on Wednesday night and, according to the police, the baby was found in his home nearby. After the child's death, Steven Pladl drove northeast, "with the specific purpose of making some confrontations," police said.
New Connecticut on Thursday said New Milford Police Lt. Lawrence Ash's officers on reports of firearms found a man and a woman identified in North Carolina as Katie Pladl and Fusco dead in a pickup truck.
The New York State Police received a message that they should look for a "light blue mini-van with registration in North Carolina". According to a state police clearance. A vehicle that met the description was spotted on Dog Tail Corners Road at Dover, the police said. The suspect, identified by the North Carolina police as Steven Pladl, was in the vehicle parked on his shoulder with the engine running.
Katie Pladl, formerly known as Katie Fusco, grew up in Dutchess County according to their artist portfolio website, fuscokatie.weebly.com, and their Facebook page. There she wrote about plans to visit the Dutchess Community College in autumn 2016.
Rick Friedman, a lawyer from Virginia representing Steven Pladl in the incest affair, said he had had breakfast with his client for just one month and had no indication that such violence was possible.
"That bothers me a lot because nobody could ever predict that if someone had a distant idea that anyone was in danger, there would have been no connection," he said. "There was absolutely no previous message that something would happen to these people."
As part of the bond terms, Friedman said, father and daughter should not communicate with each other. He said Katie Pladl lived in New York with her adoptive parents.
According to WNCN-TV in February 1998, Steven Pladl and his then wife had Katie in 1998 and she was adopted. A few years ago, Katie used social media to reach her birth parents and, in August 2016, moved with her two children near Richmond, Virginia, to the house where they lived.
In July, Katie sent a photo to her Instagram account with the hashtags #justmarried and #simplewedding
Steven and Katie later moved to North Carolina. On November 29, Henrico County, Virginia police issued arrest warrants, WNCN-TV reported.
Post: The Associated Press and the USA TODAY Network
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