A 37-year-old Indian-origin truck driver from Ohio has been arrested in Connecticut on charges of murdering his wife and three other relatives in April this year.
Gurpreet Singh, 37, who was arrested on July 2 in Connecticut, was being held in New Haven County last week pending extradition to Ohio to face four aggravated murder charges, West Chester Township Police Chief Joel Herzog was quoted as saying by Fox news.
The Branford, Conn. police department said in a statement on Facebook that West Chester Police had notified them that Singh was staying at a local residence. The suspect was arrested in a Walmart parking lot shortly after leaving the home. Singh and his three minor children had come to Connecticut to attend a wedding.
Singh and his wife reportedly first moved to the U.S., approximately 15 years ago, moving to Branford before settling in Ohio.
The Fox and other media outlet reports said Singh, owner of a trucking company, called 911 on April 28 to say he found the four “on the ground and bleeding” after coming back from work in a West Chester apartment where he lived.
The victims were later identified as his wife Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; Parmjit Kaur, 62, and Hakitakat Singh Pannag, 59, as his wife’s parents and Amarjit Kaur,58 as Parmjit’s sister. The Butler County coroner said all four died from gunshot wounds to the head and each victim was shot at least twice.
According to Oxygen.com, Gurpreet Singh would later tell The Cincinnati Enquirer that he arrived at home that night to find the door of the apartment had been forced open. “I was shocked to find my mother-in-law lying down on the tiles of the floor. I thought she (had) slipped on the tiles and I was calling out to everyone to help me, but no one answered,” he said. Singh said he discovered the aunt lying on the floor and his father-in-law unresponsive laying in his bed.
“I became aware then everyone was bleeding as was my wife who I found in the kitchen,” he said. “She must have been cooking.” The couple’s three young children were staying with relatives and had not been home at the time.
After finding the bodies, Singh told the local paper he was praying for his family’s souls and for justice in the slayings. “My wife, we were married for 17 years. We had three kids, whom we love very much, and we talked about their future, their marriages. I miss her,” he said. “Now I am waiting for justice.”
He also went on to tell the paper that the trauma had been "too much" for him. "It's too hard to even think of all that has happened," he said. "My brain is not working."
Police never bought the excuse.
Fox19 reported that Singh was questioned as a witness the night of the murders, but was not taken into custody at the time. Investigators combed the apartment complex for clues. At one point, divers recovered a gun from a pond behind the building where the murders took place. However, authorities have not confirmed that the gun was used in the killings.
News report said violent crime is rare in West Chester, a township of some 62,000 people approximately 20 miles north of Cincinnati. Fox19 said Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser declined to discuss details of the investigation, saying the case will be presented to a grand jury, which could help determine whether the suspect would face the death penalty upon conviction.
According to Oxygen.com, authorities have released few details about the case or what evidence they have to link Singh to the crimes. Gmoser has said he plans to pursue the death penalty in the case.