The Knightdale father and daughter who had a child together are dead along with their baby, authorities confirmed.
Around 9 a.m. Thursday, Steven and Katie Pladl’s 7-month-old son Bennett was found dead in the Earlston Court home the pair lived in until their arrest on charges of incest, police say.
Earlier Thursday morning, around 8:40 a.m., officials said Katie Pladl, 20, and her adoptive father, 56-year-old Anthony Fusco, were found dead in Connecticut. A short time later, Steven Pladl, 43, was found dead in New York, police said.
Connecticut authorities said Steven Pladl used an AR-15 to kill Katie Pladl and Fusco. He fired shots from his vehicle into the vehicle the victims were in. Officials said it’s believed Steven Pladl used the same gun to kill himself.
Steven Pladl’s attorney Rick Friedman told CBS17, Katie and Fusco had both been shot and killed, and “then Steven took his own life.”
“This is a tragedy for everyone involved. We are all heartbroken,” Friedman said.
Steven’s mother, who lives in Cary, called 911 Thursday morning.
“My son just called me and, ah, he told me he.. oh my God.. He killed his baby and he’s in the house,” a woman, identified by police as Pladl’s mother, told dispatchers.
Police say Pladl’s mother had custody of the child, and that Steve picked up the baby from her Wednesday night.
“His wife broke up with him yesterday over the phone,” Steven’s mother said in a 911 recording. “She’s in New York and he told me he was on his way and after bringing the baby to her and then he was coming back.”
According to court documents, Katie was staying with her adoptive family in New York after she bonded out of jail in Virginia.
“He killed his wife. He killed her father and I can’t even believe this is happening,” the woman tells the dispatcher.
In January, Steven and Katie Pladl were each charged with incest with adult, adultery, and contributing to delinquency after investigators said they had a child together.
Pladl bonded out of jail in March, but was prohibited from having contact with Katie, according to court documents.
His bond was amended to allow him to return to North Carolina.
“This is a terrible tragedy that nobody foresaw. I really believe that if the judges or the prosecutor or the defense attorneys in this case had any clue that the minor child or anyone would be harmed there would not be a bond set for any of the parties,” said Friedman.
Katie Rose Pladl was born in January 1998 to Steven Walter Pladl and her mother, and then legally adopted out of state.
When Katie Pladl turned 18, she used social media to reach out to her biological parents and even moved in with the couple and their two children in their home outside of Richmond, Virginia, according to warrants.
Steven Pladl eventually left his wife to be with Katie, warrants say.
At some point after May 31, 2017, Katie and Steven Pladl moved to Wake County.
Warrants say their child was born in September 2017.
“We are heartbroken, and saddened over the death of this child and like you, we are trying to make sense of all the factors that led up to this senseless taking of life,” said Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps.
Capps said Pladl drove to the New York “for the specific purpose of making some confrontations.” However, he wouldn’t elaborate on what transpired, only saying his department is working with police in Connecticut and New York to try to piece together what happened.
Capps said he would not release how the baby was killed as it is still part of the homicide investigation.
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