Middlesex DA Marian Ryan revealed Monday that a 41-year-old man had been detained in connection with the murders of three elderly people who had been living at their Newton home over the weekend. “Today, I am back to tell you that just a few minutes ago, we were able to place under arrest an individual named Christopher Ferguson, age 41, from Newton,” said Ryan around 8 p.m. Monday.
“Mr. Ferguson is right now charged with murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury and burglary in connection to the incident that occurred yesterday.”
After Jill D’Amore, 73, her husband Bruce D’Amore, 74, and her mother Lucia Arpino, 97, were discovered presumably stabbed and beaten to death in their house on Sunday morning, a manhunt for the culprit ensued, and on Tuesday, he was apprehended.
Since the medical examiner has only performed an autopsy on Jill D’Amore’s body and determined that her death was a homicide, according to Ryan, just one count of homicide has been filed against Ferguson.
Man arrested in connection with triple homicide in Newton home https://t.co/zOCVomtRvj
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) June 27, 2023
Tomorrow, two more autopsies will be performed, and after that, Ryan said, she anticipates the suspect would face “additional charges.” When the couple didn’t show up to church or their 50th wedding anniversary party, a concerned neighbor went to check on them around 10 a.m. on Sunday, Ryan said.
Knife and blunt force damage were evident in all cases, with over 30 injuries to Jill D’Amore alone, as reported by Ryan. They were pronounced deceased at the scene around 10:20 a.m. on Sunday. Ryan stated that the police discovered bloodied knife in the kitchen and evidence of a struggle in one of the bedrooms as well as indicators of a forced entry in the basement.
The district attorney further stated that bloody bare footprints were discovered on the tile corridor floor and might be used to identify a suspect in the same way fingerprints are. Additionally, fingerprints were discovered on the window screens that had been removed.
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She went on to say that police had gotten a video four tenths of a mile away from the scene of the murder, near the home they thought belonged to Ferguson. Around 5:20 a.m., police viewed the footage and spotted what appeared to be a shirtless and shoeless man figure wobbling.
“Several officers when shown that video were able to make identification of the individual depicted on the video as Mr. Ferguson, who was known to them,” said Ryan. According to Ryan, the warrant for Ferguson’s arrest was issued after police compared his footprint impression to one taken from the tile floor.
Ryan added that Ferguson was taken to the hospital following his arrest, and that information about his arraignment was not yet available as of Monday night. Ryan said Ferguson has been a long-time resident of the Newton area and that officials have not yet discovered any linkages between the suspect and the victims.
The district attorney and police expressed gratitude to the neighborhood residents who assisted in the search, as well as the investigators who worked tirelessly to track down the criminal. “Newton is a safe city,” said Newton Police Chief John Carmichael at the press conference.
“However, this is a reminder that senseless acts of violence do take place in cities such as ours, and it is very important that we remain vigilant.” Carmichael also mentioned a community meeting that will take place in the Horace Mann Elementary School auditorium on Wednesday night from 7 to 8:30 p.m., during which people may “sit down and have a community conversation relative to our response to this, as well as how we heal as a community following this tragic event.”
In a letter delivered Monday afternoon to members of their Our Lady Help of Christians church community, the victims were identified and fondly remembered. “It is with a heavy heart that we share that the terrible tragedy that happened yesterday in Newton hit very close to home… impacting our faith community and our own family,” the letter said.
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Our Lady Help of Christians’ pastor, Father Dan Wiley, praised the three, calling them “salt-of-the-earth, wonderful people” and “full of warmth and hospitality.” “We will all miss these three people very much,” Wiley added.
Jill D’Amore devoted “endless hours” to caring for the church’s flowers and decorating for the liturgical seasons, as her family said in their condolence letter. Bruce D’Amore, the letter said, “was known for his big voice and his exuberant personality and as ‘head chef,’ he proudly flipped the burgers at the parish picnic.”
For more than 60 years, Lucia Arpino attended the 10 a.m. mass every Sunday and participated in the annual Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Festa procession. Wiley said the pair would have been blessed and repeated their vows in front of the church and their loved ones to mark their golden wedding anniversary.
Wiley described the community’s response to the tragedy as “phenomenal,” with people coming together to comfort one another and the family in the wake of the catastrophe. “In the midst of horrible evil, there’s been incredible, generous good,” the pastor said.
Wiley stated that an announcement on a memorial service for the three deceased parishioners would be made soon. “Many in our faith community are grieving this great loss,” the family said in the letter. “We ask for your prayers for them, most especially for their three children and their five grandchildren.”
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