Man kills family, self in Maryland town, authorities say

Five people, including three young children, were found dead in this house in Middletown, Maryland.
A Maryland man apparently killed his wife and three young children, then shot and killed himself at the foot of the bed where his wife and 2-year-old daughter’s bodies lay, authorities said Saturday.

Christopher Wood, 34, may have slashed at least some of his family members in the killings in Middletown. Frederick County (Md.) Sheriff Charles Jenkins said some of the victims had “severe lacerations and cut wounds.” “These are horrific incidents,” said Jenkins, who said he couldn’t remember another homicide in the past 20 years in the small town northwest of Baltimore. “No one should ever have to be exposed to this.” Wood’s sons were 5 and 4 years old, authorities said. His wife, Francie Billotti Wood, was 33. The boys were found in their beds in a single bedroom, the sheriff said. Authorities did not release the names of the children.

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Jenkins said at least four notes apparently handwritten by Wood were found inside the home. Cpl. Jennifer Bailey said deputies went to the home shortly after 9 a.m. after Mrs. Wood’s father called. The family had not been seen for several days, Bailey said. Authorities said several weapons, including a shotgun, were found inside the home. Christopher Wood had been an employee of CSX Railroad, Jenkins said. He said the sheriff’s office had no record of domestic violence or other family disputes at the Woods’ home. “In my entire career, just about 20 years, this is probably the worst tragedy I’ve ever been a part of or ever seen in Frederick County,” Jenkins said.