Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Massillon, OH: Double Murder-Suicide May 'Run In' Massillon Man's Family

MASSILLON, Ohio - Neighbors said they appeared to be the ideal family. But police are calling the deaths of a mother, father and their eight-year-old daughter in Massillon a double murder-suicide.

Kyle Blankenship, 42, his wife Ann Urbas-Blankenship, 42, and their 8-year-old daughter Grayce were found shot to death inside their home on Oxford Avenue around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Investigators said it appears Kyle shot his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself.

Police told Fox 8 News all three family members were shot with a semi-automatic handgun, which was found underneath the man's body.

In a 911 call to police, Ann's mother, Jean Urbas, said, "My daughter called, there was a fight between her and her husband, she hung up... my husband went up, knocked on the door, both cars are there, nobody will answer the door. He has threatened her before."

Massillon police officers responded and discovered the bodies inside the ranch-style home.

"We never, never would have thought that anything like this possibly could've happened because we grew to love that family, they were such a nice couple and Grayce was such a lovely little girl," said neighbor Barb Kanney.

"Every time we would see them they seemed very happy, they were just really a unique little family," said neighbor Sharla Harwig.

A young girl, who said she was good friends with Grayce, told Fox 8, "Before I left yesterday, she told me that she would miss me and she said that she was gonna play with me today, but I didn't get a chance to because she's not here anymore."

"We did know that Kyle had a family tragedy last winter and he was having some problems dealing with that," said Kanney.

Police said in January, Kyle's older sister shot to death two of her grandchildren, then killed herself in South Carolina. Neighbors are struggling to figure out why his family met a similar fate.

"Usually Kyle was very upbeat, very nice guy, pleasant to talk to, always upbeat and Ann was always very nice and they were just a wonderful family," said Kanney.

Massillon police say they have never been called to the couple's home for any trouble.

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