DA believes Karpinski killed family before setting fire to their Sheffield home
PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire District Attorney's Office on Monday confirmed the use of accelerants to start last week's fire in Sheffield, and reinforced — in stronger terms — its previous statement that the incident was believed to be a murder-suicide.
"This investigation is complex and ongoing, but we have uncovered overwhelming evidence suggesting that Luke Karpinski killed his wife and children prior to committing suicide," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said Monday in a press release.
Sources told reporters last week that investigators were looking into whether Justine Wilbur had been stabbed before the fire started, and the district attorney's release on Monday states first responders discovered Wilbur on the first floor of the home with "a traumatic injury" that appears to predate the blaze.
They later found the bodies of Karpinski and the three children on the upper floor of the home, according to the release. Investigators also located evidence of accelerant in different parts of the home, including two 20-pound propane tanks on the upper floor, Harrington said.
Police did not find any evidence of firearms in the home, officials said, nor do they believe there is any danger to the public.
A spokesman for the office said he was unable to comment beyond the contents of the release. Autopsy results were not available on Monday from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Leading the ongoing investigation into the incident are detectives with the state police detective unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, and members of the state police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Amanda Drane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.
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