NORTH BELLMORE, LONG ISLAND— A 13-year-old and her younger siblings came home Tuesday to find their mother murdered and their father in the process of killing himself, stunning a neighborhood who paint the picture of the couple's relationship as happy and successful.
As the 13-year-old daughter returned to her home at 1329 Smith Avenue, her father spoke from behind the locked door telling her to pick up her siblings ages 10, 9 and 7. After doing so, she returned to the house, and the front door of which least one of the children was able to enter the home from the back to find their mother lying in a blood-soaked kitchen. Their father was on the second floor behind a locked door.
Police and paramedics rushed to the house. The father was still alive when he was removed from the scene but died soon after. The children were brought to a neighbors house and were unaware of what happened, since police wanted to wait for immediate family to be present before an explanation was given.
Neighbors say the home belongs to Sherri and Tom Hayes and that the couple has lived in the blue house in North Bellmore for about 10 years. Organizing their regular block party, the couple often looked after the children of other parents on the block were neighbors are also friends.
The unexpectedness of the violent end leveled neighbors who returned home hysterical. Many had to be comforted by others until they could collect themselves, at which point their attention turned to the future of the four children.
Police would only confirm that the murder weapon was not a gun, and as for a motive, investigators are checking to see if the couple was having marital problems. Neighbors say there was no indication of. A police source also confirmed an ongoing investigation into whether Tom Hayes was due in court on any matter this week.