DA believes Karpinski killed family before setting fire to their Sheffield home

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

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.

The incident Wednesday morning at 1343 Home Road in Sheffield claimed the lives of Luke Karpinski, his wife, Justine Wilbur, both 41, their 7-year-old twins, Alex and Zoe, and 3-year-old son, Marek.

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 adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.



If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions