Deputies: Husband dead by suicide after killing wife, severely beating mother

Monroe County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a homicide in Penfield which they believe is linked with an attempted murder in Riga. (WHAM photo)

Penfield, N.Y. (WHAM) - Monroe County Sheriff's investigators are piecing together what they say are investigations into a murder, attempted murder and suicide at three separate crimes scenes in two states on Wednesday.

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said they were called by an employer around 10:30 a.m. to check on a person who did not show up for work. When they arrived at a home on Collingsworth Drive in Penfield, they found a woman dead inside the home. Preliminary evidence showed she had been bludgeoned to death.

Friends tell 13WHAM News that the woman is Wendy Ford.

Approximately 45 minutes later, deputies went a home on Leibeck Road in Riga as a part of the investigation into the Penfield homicide. Once at the home in Riga, they discovered 75-year-old Florence Ford who was unresponsive. She was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where she remains in critical condition. Deputies said she had been bludgeoned as well.

Investigators said 52-year-old Arnold Ford, the husband of the woman killed in Penfield was identified as a person of interest was developed early on in the investigation. Florence Ford was identified as Arnold's mother.

Using law enforcement technology tools, deputies were able to identify a license plate and track Arnold's vehicle to Pennsylvania. Deputies notified Pennsylvania State Police about the vehicle and its license plate number.

At that time, Pennsylvania State Police had been notified about a suspicious vehicle spotted in a parking lot in the area of Erie, Pennsylvania with a person slumped over the wheel of the vehicle. When police checked on the person, they found the driver was a man with a fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound. A handgun was recovered in the vehicle. Troopers were able to match the license plate of that vehicle with the one being sought by Monroe County Sheriff's deputies.

That driver was later confirmed to be Arnold Ford.

Sheriff Baxter said family is being notified, adding that there is no threat to the community at this time.

Since the investigation is still in the early stages, Sheriff Baxter added that they are working on looking into prior calls at either address in Riga and Penfield, as well as orders of protection that may have been issued.

"We go back and do the research," said Baxter. "We're doing that as we speak. Prior calls of service, order of protections, family history there."

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office will release more information as it becomes available.

Meanwhile, residents on Collingsworth Drive say they are shaken by Wednesday's events.

"It's such a quiet neighborhood," said neighbor Chad Barbe. "Just to have something like this happen is unreal."

"When I came home from work," he said, "flashing lights everywhere and news cameras. It was a very different day."

"They were a very nice couple," said neighbor Judy Keehn. "Just out the other day walking, holding hands."

"Something like this happens, you're going to be worried," she added. "But police have secured the neighborhood."

As deputies continue to investigate, those neighbors say the shock isn't going away anytime soon.

"I don't know that it's sunk in," said Barbe, "But everything's kind of somber. Everybody's obviously talking about it."

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