LARGO, Fla. – A man fatally shot his ex-wife and another woman, police said, and authorities investigating the slayings found two dead children at the suspect's house. The body of an apparent suicide victim was found later in his car.
Oliver Thomas Bernsdorff, 36, went to the apartment complex where his 27-year-old ex-wife, Jennifer Davis, lived with the other victim, Andrea H. Pisanello, 53, and fatally shot them about 6:30 a.m., Largo police Lt. Mike Loux said.
Police investigating those shootings identified Bernsdorff as a suspect and sent officers to his house in nearby Clearwater. They found the children's bodies around 11 a.m., Clearwater police said.
Police did not release the children's identities, but Bernsdorff's Web pages said he was the single father of two young children he had with Davis.
Bernsdorff's car was found at the Sunshine Skyway, the bridge that connects St. Petersburg and the Bradenton area. A person inside the vehicle apparently died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said, although it was not immediately clear if it was Bernsdorff. Manatee County sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said investigators have "reason to believe the person is connected" to the deaths in Largo and Clearwater.
A posting on the Bernsdorff family Web site last updated in May said: "Our family is going through major changes right now...please stay tuned." The site says Bernsdorff is a GED teacher in at St. Petersburg College and a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg.
In August, Bernsdorff filed for divorce from his wife. The divorce settlement required Davis to pay about $800 per month in child support, but as of October, she had not paid any and was $1,851 in arrears, according to court records obtained by The Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times.
The divorce records show Bernsdorff was in debt, including $135,000 in student loans, $27,000 owed the IRS, a $33,000 private loan and roughly $50,000 in credit card debt, the papers reported.
The last login on his MySpace page was on Monday. The page says he was divorced and looking for serious relationships and the single custodial father of two children, ages 2 and 4, "who are simply amazing little human beings."
After his second child was born, an entry on his personal page said: "Having a child changes everything. Having a second child, too. I think it also stimulates the part of the brain and spirit responsible for philosophical thought. Some of these things I'll be sharing here in the near future. In the meantime, I wish all of you a piece of the joy this family is now feeling."