Cops say Massachusetts lawyer in Sheffield, Massachusetts killed his family and committed arson in quadruple murder-suicide that initially looked like a house fire accident on Wednesday
Luke Karpinski, killed his wife Justine Wilber on Wednesday in their Sheffield, Massachusetts home
He also killed their seven-year-old twin sn and daughter, as well as, their three-year-old son, before setting the home on fire and taking his own life
Highly regarded 41-year-year-old federal patent analyst Luke Karpinski worked from home, and his wife Justine, 41, worked as a patent attorney in New York
The pair who had been high school sweethearts shared a pair of 7-year-old twins and a three-yer-old
The children were a pair of seven-year-old twins as well as a three-year-old
Luke Karpinski, [left] killed his wife Justine Wilber [right] on Wednesday in their Sheffield, Massachusetts home along with their seven-year-old twins and a three-year-old child, before setting the home on fire and taking his own life
A Massachusetts lawyer is thought to have killed his high school sweetheart wife and their three children then set their Berkshires home alight before taking his own life, authorities say.
The couple, both high-flying patent attorneys, both 41, and their three children – 7-year-old twin son and daughter and their younger son, 3, were found dead in a newly built Sheffield home Wednesday morning, after firefighters extinguished a blaze there.
Karpinski is believed to have killed his family, and then himself, according to Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington.
The case is being investigated as a murder-suicide by police.
Investigators believe that Karpinski murdered his family before killing himself, and that there is no ongoing threat to the public, Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington said at a press conference on Thursday evening.
Wilber was a patent attorney working for a law firm in Albany, New York, while her husband was believed to be a patent analyst for the federal government.
The couple were high school sweethearts, attending Wahconah Regional High. Teachers there described them as ‘two outstanding student citizens’.
Retired Principal Tom Callahan told The Berkshire Eagle: ‘I remember them very well. My memory of them is just two outstanding student citizens. It was a heck of a group of kids in that graduating class.
‘That was a happy class. We had a good time with them. It’s just, obviously, a tragedy. I feel just awful for them, their whole family.’
They started dating as seniors in 1996 and were high achievers who went off to college after graduating. Wilbur’s sister, Kristen said they started their careers in Alexandria, Virginia before returning to Massachusetts around seven years later.
‘It is with grief and immeasurable sorrow that we learned of the death of our friend and colleague Justine M. Wilbur, who died with her family yesterday,’ the law firm of Hoffman Warnick said.
‘Justine was a talented attorney who joined our team in 2017 after having built a reputation both domestically and internationally as a patent expert. Her work was both meaningful and challenging having encompassed topics ranging from cancer treatment and nanotechnology to advanced materials.
‘Justine was smart, knowledgeable, dedicated and hardworking. She was a devoted mother to her wonderful children, and a true friend to everyone in our firm.
‘We are each devastated by loss and extraordinary sadness, but are comforted and grateful for having shared Justine’s infectious spirit and energy.
‘We pray for her family and those who loved her.’
Before becoming an attorney, Justine was a scientist focusing on cancer research, reports say.
Karpinski and Wilbur purchased the lot that the home was later built on in June 2016 for $105,000, records show.
Federal records show that a Luke E. Karpinski was employed as a Patent Examiner at the Patent and Trademark Office in Sheffield, with a salary of $109,116 in 2017.
Fire crews responded to reports of the house fire at around 7.50am on Wednesday, finding one body initially and then four others during a secondary search.
On Thursday, Harrington said that Wilbur’s body was the first to be found, on the ground floor, and that the other four bodies were found together on the upper floor.
The home was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived, taking nearly an hour to extinguish and allow for the searches.
DA Harrington would not specify the causes of death or answer reporters’ questions at an initial press conference, saying only that the investigation was ‘complicated.’
‘This is an ongoing, extensive investigation with multiple local and state agencies, including the State Police,’ Harrington said, according to the Berkshire Edge.