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Incest dad suspected of killing daughter found dead

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A North Carolina man accused of having an incestuous relationship with his biological daughter killed her, along with their infant son and her adoptive father on Thursday before fatally shooting himself, his defense attorney said.


Steven Pladl, 43, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his car in Dover, N.Y. on Thursday, concluding a triple murder-suicide that spanned three states.


His biological daughter Katie Pladl, 20, was given up for adoption when she was an infant, and the two began an incestuous relationship after she tracked him down on social media in 2016.


Katie gave birth to their son Bennet Pladl in September 2017, and both she and Steven Pladl were arrested in January before they were released on bond and ordered to stay apart.

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Police work at the scene where a man and a woman were found slain in a pickup truck near the intersection of Routes 55 and 7 in Gaylordsville, Conn. on Thursday.

(Carol Kaliff/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP)


On Thursday, Steven Pladl’s mother called 911 to conduct a welfare check on his Knightdale, N.C. home after having a disturbing conversation with her son, Knightdale Police Chief Lawrence Capps said.


In a 911 call obtained by WNCN, his mother told the dispatcher, “My son just called me and he told me he…oh my God…He killed his baby…”


The 7-month-old Bennett was found dead at the home around 9 a.m., Capp said.


Katie Pladl and her adoptive father Anthony Fusco, 56, were also found dead in a pickup truck 575 miles away in New Milford, Connecticut, Capps said.

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Steven Pladl is believed to have driven across state lines to New York, where he committed suicide in his minivan.


The suspect’s attorney Rick Friedman confirmed the deaths to WNCN, saying, “This is a tragedy for everyone involved. We are all heartbroken.”

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Authorities said the suspect was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot across the state line in New York.

(Carol Kaliff/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP)


Authorities are still working to establish the timeline of the deaths.


“We’re trying to make sense of all the factors that led up to this senseless taking of life,” Capps said. A motive for the shootings wasn’t immediately clear.


Katie Pladl was born to Steven Pladl and his wife Alyssa in 1998 before she was legally adopted by the Fuscos.


After she turned 18, she reached out to her biological parents on social media and moved in with the couple and their two other children.


Steven and his wife split that year, and Alyssa told authorities her husband had been sleeping on the floor of Katie’s room. She later discovered Steven and Katie were expecting a child together.


Katie also shared Instagram photos of her and her father with the hashtag “justmarried,” although it remains unclear whether it was officially registered.

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