Sheffield murder-suicide documents released by Berkshire DA, case closed

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Berkshire County District Attorney has released records from the investigation of a fire that involved the deaths of a family of five in Sheffield last year.

On March 13, 2019, Luke Karpinski, Justine Wilbur, both 41, and 7-year-old twins Alex and Zoe and a 3-year-old Marek, were all found dead in their 1343 Home Road house after authorities responded to a call for a structure fire at that location.

Hundreds of pages of documents have been released, some heavily redacted, including phone records of the deceased, and statements from firefighters, investigators, neighbors, and colleagues.

Results from the investigation found that Karpinski planned the murders, fire and his suicide.

Video footage from the children’s school show him picking them up around 10 a.m. on March 12. He told the school they had a dentist appointment, which was determined to be false.

Justine Wilbur was killed when she returned home from work. An autopsy determined her cause of death was due to a severed carotid artery, severed jugular vein, and severed esophagus and trachea.

The three children were found laying together on the floor of a bedroom. The exact cause of death could not be determined as their bodies were badly burned.

Luke Karpinski was found dead on a bed in a loft. After killing his children and wife, he poured gasoline around the interior of the home, took oxycodone pills and lost consciousness while the house burned. A knife and lighter were found near his body.

Two dogs were found dead in a closet.

Investigators determined the incident was a premeditated murder-suicide, naming Karpinski as the assailant. They still have not determined a motive. The Berkshire DA’s office is closing the investigation.

STATEMENT: Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington

“I send my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this horrific and unimaginable crime. I would like to thank the first responders for putting themselves in harm’s way in what was, unfortunately, a futile rescue attempt. I asked the Massachusetts State Police to conduct a thorough investigation in this matter because the victims cannot speak for themselves and I felt that a full accounting of what occurred was in the interests of justice. I thank the State Police led by the Berkshire Detective Unit for going above and beyond in this investigation.”

Andrea Harrington, Berkshire District Attorney

DOCUMENTS: Sheffield murder-suicide

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MAP: 1343 Home Road Sheffield, Mass.

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