Police: Amish School Shooter Said He Molested Kids Years Ago

The milk-truck driver who shot and killed five young girls and himself in a Pennsylvania Amish community this week told his wife minutes before he died that he molested young family members over 20 years ago and that he had been having dreams about molesting again.

Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Jeffrey Miller, however, told reporters Tuesday they have found no evidence, nor any report, of any such abuse by the gunman, Charles Carl Roberts IV. They also said there was no evidence any of the hostages at the Amish school were sexually abused.

"Neither his wife or any member of his family we have spoken to has any knowledge of any crime being committed," Miller said of Roberts' claims of abuse. "It's unknown what type of molestation, whether it was fondling or inappropriate touching or if it was sexual assault — or if anything occurred."

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Roberts was a 32-year-old father of three from nearby Bart Township and was not Amish, but he was deeply scarred by the death of his premature baby, Elise — the firstborn child of he and his wife — nine years ago, Miller added.

Roberts left a number of suicide notes — including one for each of his three children and his wife, Miller said. The note left for his wife referenced something he did 20 years ago but did not go into detail about what that was. He did, however, say he had been having dreams recently, during which he wants to do that again. Roberts' wife didn't know what he was referring to until he called her from inside the schoolhouse during the attack at 10:50 a.m.

Roberts said, "I am not coming home, the police are here," according to Miller. The gunman also told his wife that he molested two young family members years ago and that Monday's shooting spree was some sort of revenge killing. The family members were three or four years old at the time, Miller said, and Roberts would have been about 12 years old 20 years ago.

Notes left behind by Roberts also indicate the gunman was angry at himself and God because of the death of his newborn child, who lived about 20 minutes before dying on Nov. 14, 1997.

"Roberts' wife stated to us that Roberts took the loss of their child Elise very hard," Miller said. "I don't think we're ever going to know with exactness or precision what he was thinking."

Early Monday morning, Roberts ran his milk route as usual, then he and his wife got their three kids ready for school. Roberts' wife went to a morning prayer group, while he dropped his kids off at a bus stop, then drove to the Amish school to carry out his plan, Miller said.

The attack on the one-room schoolhouse in Nickel Mines in Lancaster County was "well thought-out," "scripted and pre-planned," Miller said, but Roberts panicked when police arrived. Roberts brought with him items that included: KY Jelly, plastic flex-ties, three guns, a stun gun, two knives, a pile of wood and a bag with 600 rounds of ammunition, a change of clothing, toilet paper, bolts, hardware and rolls of clear tape.

Family members who had seen Roberts the week before said there was no indication he was planning such a horrific crime and described him as "very relaxed."

From the suicide notes and telephone calls, it was clear Roberts was "angry at life, he was angry at God," and co-workers said his mood had darkened in recent days, Miller said.

"The note that he left for his wife talks about the good memories together, the tragedy with Elise, it focuses on his life being changed forever ... and he alludes to this other reason for this anger but he can't discuss it with her and it happened 20 years ago," he added.

The gunman's wife, Marie Roberts, called her husband "loving, supportive and thoughtful."

"He was an exceptional father," she said in a statement. "He took the kids to soccer practice and games, played ball in the backyard and took our 7-year-old daughter shopping. He never said no when I asked him to change a diaper."

"Our hearts are broken, our lives are shattered, and we grieve for the innocence and lives that were lost today," she continued. "Above all, please pray for the families who lost children and please pray too for our family and children."

Mourning the Dead

Meanwhile, the Amish community mourned the deaths of the children who were killed by Roberts. Police released the names of the dead as follows: Naomi Rose Edersole, 7; Anna Mae Stoltzfus, 12; Marian Fisher, 13; Mary Liz Miller, 8; Lina Miller, 7.

Two of the dead children passed away Tuesday morning: One girl at Christiana Hospital in Delaware died about 1 a.m., and a 7-year-old girl at Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey died about 4:30 a.m.

"Her parents were with her," hospital spokeswoman Amy Buehler Stranges said of the 7-year-old. "She was taken off life support and she passed away shortly after."

Five other girls were shot; four of them are in critical condition.

Spokesmen at Penn State Children's Hospital said the Amish community requested privacy in their time of mourning and prayer for their families.

"This is a tragedy of a magnitude our community is not used to seeing," said spokesman Sean Young.

A 6-year-old girl there is still in critical condition, while a 13-year-old female is in serious condition, Young said. Three girls, ages 8, 10 and 12, were flown to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where they were out of surgery but remained in critical condition, spokeswoman Peggy Flynn said.

"I ask all Pennsylvanians to keep the families and the victims in their prayers and keep this fine community in their prayers, as well," Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said Tuesday.

"I think the Amish community would want everybody to pray for them, especially the victims' families," one Amish man who did not want to be identified on camera told FOX News. "I'm sure they would want you to pray for us — that we can put this behind us and move forward."

The Bush administration on Monday called for a school violence summit to be held next week with education and law enforcement officials to discuss possible federal action to help communities prevent violence and deal with its aftermath.

Before he started shooting, Roberts released about 15 boys, a pregnant woman and three women with infants, barred the doors with desks, a fooseball table and wood and secured them with nails, bolts and flexible plastic ties. He then made the girls line up along a blackboard and tied their feet together.

The teacher and another adult ran to a nearby farmhouse, and authorities were called at about 10:30 a.m. Amish schools traditionally do not have telephones. Miller on Tuesday praised the actions of those two individuals, saying they likely prevented further deaths.

The attack bore similarities to a deadly school shooting last week in Bailey, Colo., that left one female student dead. Click here for the latest on the Colorado shooting story.

On Friday, a school principal was shot to death in Cazenovia, Wis. A 15-year-old student, described as upset over a reprimand, was charged with murder and is being held on $750,000 bond. Click here for the latest on that story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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