By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Pawtucket Police said there was little indication that a Rhode Island man would stab his wife to death in Pawtucket and then drive to a relative’s home in Brockton and hang himself in a garage in an apparent murder-suicide that tied the two cities together Wednesday.
Pawtucket Major Arthur Martins said Pawtucket Police were called to the home of Maria Almeida Turmel, 63 Charlton Ave. in Pawtucket around 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 after Turmel’s 7-year-old adopted son was hoisted into a window by his two siblings when the doors of the house were locked after school and their mother wasn't there to greet them.
Police said the boy found his mother stabbed to death on the kitchen floor--a shock to the family and police.
“We had never been over there for any domestic calls. There weren’t any problems that we know of. There was no way of predicting that this was going to happen or a reason to intervene,” Martins said.
When police arrived they found 32-year-old Turmel on the floor of the kitchen stabbed to death and her husband of about three years 35-year-old Antonio Dos Santos as the prime suspect.
“She had been stabbed multiple times—all over,” Martins said.
Turmel was pronounced dead at the scene.
Martins said Turmel has three children—two in their early teens from a previous marriage and the 7-year-old who she adopted after a friend died.
Martins said police were also contacted by family members because they could not get in touch with Turmel on the phone.
Martins said police began to look for Santos through his car registration and a cell phone trace after talking to Turmel’s three children and family members who said Santos had not shown up for work.
Through the cell phone trace, Martins said, Santos was believed to be in the area of a relative’s home at 4 Sycamore Ave. in Brockton.
Brockton Police were contacted and as Brockton cruisers headed to the Sycamore Avenue home at about 6:20 p.m. last night they received a call from a family member who reported Santos’ body was found hanging in a detached garage.
Martins said except for a recent “internal squabble” family members described as minor there is little to explain the murder suicide.
“It could be anything. It could be finances. It could be something else. It could be anything,” Martins said.
Martins said there is evidence from the crime scenes in Brockton and Pawtucket that indicate Santos was the one who killed Turmel and then hanged himself.
There was no evidence or indication of alcohol or drug use at the scene, Martins said.
Unfortunately, Martins said, Turmel’s three children are essentially orphans and while there is a biological father for her two biological children, Turmel’s adopted son has already lost two parents and it is unclear if the family will remain together.
“It’s a sad story. There are two families that are destroyed here,” Martins said.