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Police charge relative with quadruple family slayings

By DAN SEWELLJuly 2, 2019
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West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog speaks during a West Chester police press conference, in West Chester, Ohio,Tuesday, July 2, 2019, called to discuss update in quadruple homicide from April. (Nicholas S. Graham//The Journal-News via AP)
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West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog speaks during a West Chester police press conference, in West Chester, Ohio,Tuesday, July 2, 2019, called to discuss update in quadruple homicide from April. (Nicholas S. Graham//The Journal-News via AP)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The husband of one of the victims in an Ohio family slaying was arrested on murder charges, authorities said Tuesday.

West Chester Township Police Chief Joel Herzog said that Gurpreet Singh, 37, was arrested in Connecticut and was in custody in New Haven County pending procedures to return him to Ohio to face four aggravated murder charges. He had called 911 on April 28 to say he found the four “on the ground and bleeding” in a West Chester, Ohio, apartment.

Authorities didn’t say why Singh, who is a truck driver, was in Connecticut.

A township spokeswoman said she didn’t know whether Singh has an attorney yet.

Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser declined to discuss details of the investigation, saying the case will be presented to a grand jury, which could help determine whether the suspect would face the death penalty upon conviction.

“There will be a day of reckoning in this case,” Gmoser said.

Authorities spoke at a podium with a poster showing the four victims and the message: “Forever in our hearts.”

The Butler County coroner said a man and three women died from gunshot wounds to the head. Singh was a resident of the apartment where they died.

Members of a nearby Sikh temple said the four had worshipped there.

Those killed were identified as: Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; Amarjit Kaur, 58; Parmjit Kaur, 62, and Hakiakat Singh Pannag, 59. Each had at least two gunshot wounds to the head.

Singh had said, in the aftermath of the slayings, that he and Shalinderjit had been married 17 years and had three children. Family members identified Parmjit and Hakitakat as his wife’s parents, and Amarjit as Parmjit’s sister.

Singh is a truck driver who told The Cincinnati Enquirer he was often away from home. Their three children were staying with other relatives at the time of the slayings and police said Tuesday they were safe but wouldn’t say where they were.

Police had said soon after the slayings that they didn’t believe there was a threat to other community members.

Investigators, including divers who searched a pond near the home, combed the apartment complex for clues.

Such violent crime is rare in the township of some 62,000 people, roughly 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of Cincinnati. Herzog assured residents after the slayings that authorities had no reason to believe that other community members were under threat.

Herzog has attended services at the nearby Sikh temple where the family worshipped. Funeral services were held June 1 at a church in Mason, Ohio. News media reports at the time said family and friends came from India, Canada and other U.S. states for the services.

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This story has been corrected to show that Gurpreet Singh is 37, not 36.

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AP reporter Angie Wang in Cincinnati contributed.

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