Pittsfield man facing felony charges over theft from Nazareth apartment

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PITTSFIELD — A city man is facing felony larceny charges for allegedly stealing electronics from a Pittsfield apartment last August while the residents, Anthony and Hannah Nazareth, lay dead inside.

Michael Blowe, 54, who was arraigned Monday, and another suspect, are accused of entering the Plunkett Street apartment before police discovered the bodies of Nazareth, 47, and his daughter, 11, on Aug. 3.

Blowe allegedly took a television and DVD player, police said.

The second suspect, who is being sought by police, allegedly took food, clothing and Nazareth's bank card from the apartment.

Early in the investigation, police noted Anthony Nazareth's body appeared to have been moved sometime after his death and his wallet, cellphone, television and other items appeared to be missing.

Witness interviews conducted during the investigation revealed Nazareth had plans to meet with other tenants in the building on the morning of Aug. 2 — the day before his body was found — but he never did.

A witness told police she heard footsteps and the sounds of drawers being opened and closed inside of Nazareth's apartment on the morning of Aug. 2 and heard the front door being opened and closed. She called up to Nazareth, but got no answer, she told police.

Other witnesses told police Blowe informed them he'd entered Nazareth's apartment and saw him "snoring," or "gurgling." They said Blowe told them he left and later returned to find him dead.

Those witnesses gave police a pair of hats, both of which belonged to Nazareth, that Blowe had left behind at their home.

Blowe told police he'd entered Nazareth's apartment and saw him dead, but he denied taking anything.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday before judge Thomas Estes to charges of felony daytime breaking and entering and larceny from a building.

He was ordered held on $1,000 bail and is due back in court on March 8 for a pretrial hearing.

Police said they've also called Nazareth's cellphone number and have been able to access some saved voicemail messages, some of which appear to have been left after his death and intended for whomever may have the phone.

Hannah may have been dead for up to a month before the discovery of the bodies, and Anthony died from a apparent heroin overdose, according to preliminary autopsy results. Hannah's body showed no signs of trauma, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's office and the cause of her death is undetermined.

"Follow-up conversations with the Chief Medical Examiner's office indicated that the lack of definitive results was due in great part to the decomposition of Hanna's body," according to a statement released Monday by the DA's office.

Anthony Nazareth "provided false and misleading information about Hannah's whereabouts to different agencies and others during the month of July, although none of those agencies or individuals followed up to determine where Hannah was and if she was safe and healthy," according to the DA's office.

The Eagle has reported that Nazareth likely hid the girl's death for as long as a month, citing a number of sources. Monday's statement from the DA's office confirmed those circumstances.

"Hannah Nazareth was failed by a number of people," Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless in a Monday's statement. "While there is no indication that different action may have saved her, her dignity in death was not honored and questions will always remain about how, and why, she died."

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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