Indiana Man Held in Death of Wife, Kids
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A man found standing on the front porch of his home faces murder charges for allegedly killing his wife and three daughters -- at least two of whom were found strangled inside the family's home.
Simon Rios, 33, was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on four counts of murder and two preliminary counts of moving a body. He was being held without bond in the Allen County Jail.
Allen County Coroner E. Jon Brandenberger said an autopsy found that Rios' wife, Ana L. Casas, 28, had died from blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation. One of the couple's three daughters, Katherinne G. Rios, 4, had been strangled, he said.
Autopsies on the two other victims, Liliana K. Rios Casas, 10, and Thannya Karolinna Rios, 20 months, were expected to be performed Wednesday.
Fort Wayne police spokeswoman Robin Thompson said Simon Rios is accused of killing the four following an argument that she said was detailed in a probable cause affidavit.
Officers found the bodies inside the home early Tuesday after being called to the house to investigate reported suicide threats.
Neighbor Nancy Gater said Simon Rios worked at a factory but had lost his job this year and spent some time in Mexico. She said the family had moved to the house about four years ago.
The discovery of the bodies came a day after police and the FBI searched homes in the south side neighborhood for clues about 10-year-old Alejandra Gutierrez, who disappeared Thursday on her way to a nearby school bus stop.
Thompson said police did not believe the cases were related.
Hundreds of Hispanic residents flocked to St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Tuesday night to hold a prayer vigil for the four victims.
"God wishes little children to grow up, become teenagers and adults," said Bishop John D'Arcy of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese as the Rev. Jack Overmyer, St. Patrick's pastor, translated his comments into Spanish.
"We mourn for these little children and their mom, and we pray they're in the hands of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and we ask God to protect our families," D'Arcy said.
Adolfo Puebla, who said he is the godfather of the youngest girl, said Rios and his family attended a birthday party Puebla and his wife hosted Saturday. They left laughing and with no signs of trouble, he said.
Puebla said his children often played with the three girls.
"We are shocked," Puebla said. "It's really hard for me and for my wife. I don't know how I can describe it."