A biological father, his daughter, her adoptive father, and their child were all slain in crime scenes across state lines.
At 8:40 AM on the morning of March 12, 20-year-old Katie Pladl and her adoptive father, 56-year-old Anthony Fusco, were found dead in Connecticut. Katie Pladl’s biological father, Steven Pladl (43), allegedly gunned them down from his vehicle before killing himself. His body was discovered in New York.
Only twenty minutes after the first bodies were discovered, authorities found 7-month-old baby Bennett, the product of Steven and Katie’s alleged incestuous relationship. He had been killed in their Earlston Court home in Knightdale, North Carolina.
Steven Pladl allegedly picked up Bennett from his mother — who currently had legal custody of the child — the night before. According to the recording of the 911 call to dispatchers, Pladl’s mother said that Katie “broke up with him yesterday over the phone,” but that “he was on his way, and after bringing the baby to her, and then he was coming back.” He would later call her and tell her that he had killed the child. “He killed his wife. He killed her father and I can’t even believe this is happening,” she told the dispatcher.
Katie was staying with her adoptive family in New York after being bonded out of jail following charges of incest with Steven Pladl. He had bonded out of jail as well but was forbidden contact with his daughter/wife.
Steven’s lawyer has called it “a terrible tragedy that nobody foresaw,” saying, “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.”
In a statement, Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps said, “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.”