PARMA, Ohio – A man charged with killing five people kept his head bowed and wiped away tears Thursday during a court appearance where a judge set a $75 million bond on aggravated murder charges in the deaths of a mother and her two college-age daughters.
George Brinkman Jr. didn't enter a plea during the brief appearance in Parma Municipal Court. He was charged Wednesday in the deaths of Suzanne Taylor and her daughters, 21-year-old Taylor Pifer and 18-year-old Kylie Pifer. Their bodies were found Sunday at their home in North Royalton, a suburb about a half-hour's drive south of Cleveland.
Judge Timothy Gilligan read the charges aloud, revealing that Suzanne Taylor's throat was slit, Kylie Pifer was strangled with a phone cord and Taylor Pifer was smothered. A North Royalton police detective has said all three women were found facedown on a bed.
The case was sent to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court where a grand jury will consider whether to indict Brinkman and he will be appointed attorneys.
Brinkman was charged Tuesday in Stark County with two counts of murder in the deaths of 71-year-old Rogell Eugene John and 64-year-old Roberta Ray John at the couple's home in Lake Township near Canton. Investigators have said Brinkman was watching the Johns' house while they were on vacation. Their bodies were found Monday.
Suzanne Taylor's mother told WJW-TV that Brinkman and her daughter graduated from high school together and were longtime friends, but had never been romantically involved.
"We had meals together. He spent holidays here," Marcia Taylor said. "I mean, he was a friend. So I don't know what made him so angry."
Kylie Pifer attended Bowling Green State University, and Taylor Pifer attended Kent State.
Police and federal agents arrested Brinkman at a friend's home early Tuesday after a nine-hour standoff.
A Cleveland television station reported this week that one of its reporters exchanged Facebook messages with Brinkman, after she found he was friends with the North Royalton women and before he was announced as a suspect. WOIO-TV reported Brinkman told the reporter he had known Taylor since grade school and she and her daughters were "awesome people."
Brinkman told the reporter on Facebook during the standoff that police were outside, blaming him for the deaths, and he asked her to let everyone know he loved the women and wouldn't hurt them, according to WOIO.
This story has been corrected to show that the last name of the two sisters found dead with their mother is Pifer, not Taylor.