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Murder-suicide destroys family

CROSS RIVER -- A man in the middle of a divorce fatally shot his two children in their beds, bludgeoned his wife to death with the leg from a piece of furniture, then killed himself in the basement of their suburban home, police said Wednesday.

The bodies of Amy and Sam Friedlander and their children, Gregory, 8, and Molly, 10, were discovered Tuesday afternoon, hours after their deaths, in affluent Cross River, north of New York City. All were in nightclothes, police said.

According to The Journal News, Sam Friedlander graduated from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs before earning a law degree from Western New England College in Springfield, Mass.

The couple had a divorce proceeding scheduled for Thursday, but were still living under the same roof, in separate bedrooms, State Police Maj. Michael Kopy said. The husband was 50, the wife 46.

The children were found dead in their beds, shot in the torso and then covered with bedspreads, Kopy said. He said it wasn't yet known if they were asleep when they were shot.

Their mother lay dead on the floor of the master bedroom, amid the bloody evidence of a struggle, Kopy said. The furniture leg lay nearby and was likely the murder weapon, he said.

The father's body was in the unfinished basement, along with the shotgun he used. Kopy said no suicide note had been found as of Wednesday afternoon.

Counselors were summoned for the officers and investigators called to the house.


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