On Thursday, the body of 42-year-old Steven Pladl was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Dover, New York, just after his mother phoned officials to report his confession to the murders of his biological daughter, her son and her adoptive father.
In the 911 call obtained by WNCN, Pladl’s mother said that her son admitted to killing his 20-year-old daughter, Katie, who he illegally married in a “lakeside” wedding in 2017. Pladl also admitted to the murder of the 7-month old he shared with his daughter-wife.
Shortly after the call, Connecticut officials responded to reports of shots fired and found a man and a woman dead in a pickup truck with New York plates. After further investigation, officials identified the victims as Katie and her adoptive father, Anthony Fusco.
About 20 minutes later, officials responded to the North Carolina home, where the father-daughter couple lived before they were arrested on incest charges in January, to perform a welfare check. There, officials found the body of baby Bennett Pladl, dead in a suspected homicide.
Pladl is suspected of killing all three victims before turning the gun on himself. Although the motive is still under investigation, officials believe the couple’s recent breakup may have spurred the murders.
Pladl and his first wife gave Katie up for adoption shortly after her birth but reunited with the young girl when she turned 18. However, when the father and daughter duo became romantically involved, Pladl’s wife divorced him and reported the two to the police. After their January arrest, the two were both released on bond but ordered to stay away from one another, as their son went to live with his grandma/great-grandma.
However, just days before the brutal murders, Pladl picked his son up from his mother’s house, claiming he planned to take the baby to see his mother. But, she reportedly broke up with him just one day before his killing spree.
The incident is still under investigation.