4 family members slain in Massachusetts, husband arrested

Children killed were ages 2 and 4; D.A. describes scene as "horrific, disturbing and unspeakable"

Published June 17, 2010 7:14PM (EDT)

A man accused of killing his wife, two young children and mother-in-law in their suburban Boston home was captured by police Thursday, hours after he was charged with four counts of murder.

Thomas Mortimer IV, 43, was charged with killing Laura Stone Mortimer, a 41-year-old economist; her 4-year-old son, Thomas Mortimer V; her 2-year-old daughter, Charlotte Mortimer; and her 64-year-old mother, Ellen Stone. Their bodies were found Wednesday at their in home in Winchester, a community north of Boston where the median household income is about $120,000.

Authorities would not say how the victims died, but District Attorney Gerry Leone described it as a "horrific, disturbing and unspeakable" scene.

Leone's office confirmed the arrest and scheduled a news conference for later Thursday to release details.

Prior to his arrest Thursday in Bernardston, about 100 miles from Boston, Mortimer was last seen Monday around 6 p.m. at his job at M&R Consultants Corp., a Burlington technology consulting firm, said Anil Shah, the company's president.

Mortimer was a hard worker who had been making progress at his job since getting hired around a month and a half ago, Shah said. Mortimer accepted the position after a long period without a job and took about two weeks to set up his child care, Shah said.

"He was very professional, very nice guy ... always very positive," said Shah. "Somehow my heart doesn't believe he couldn't be involved in anything that he's been charged with."

Mortimer had left a message for his supervisor around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to say he wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be at work, Shah said. About two hours later, Mortimer told a co-worker he had been up sick all night and would be back at work on Wednesday, Shah said.

Shah said the company had phone problems on Wednesday but Mortimer did not come to work and hasn't been seen since.

Laura Mortimer was a senior economist with the Los Angeles-based commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis. The company called her death a tragic loss.

"Laura was a valued and well respected colleague and, more important, a good friend," the company said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Laura's family and loved ones at this terrible time."

Police had issued alerts about Mortimer's vehicle -- a light-colored Toyota Highlander with Massachusetts tags -- on electronic sins around the Massachusetts Turnpike and other major highways.

Mortimer grew up in Avon, Conn., and authorities had been stationed outside his parents home there Thursday to watch for his vehicle.


Associated Press writer Stephanie Reitz in Hartford, Conn., contributed to this report.

By Bob Salsberg

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